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Still lend thy lonely lamp to lovers fond,
And blend their plighted shadows into one: -
Still sinile at even on the bedded child,
And close his eyelids with thy silver wand!
WELCOME, dear heart, and a most kind good-morrow;
The day is gloomy, but our looks shall shine: -
Flowers I have none to give thee, but I borrow
Their sweetness in a verse to speak for thine.
Here are red roses, gathered at thy cheeks,-
The white were all too happy to look white :
For love the rose, for faith the lily speaks ;
It withers in false hands, but here 't is bright!
Dost love sweet hyacinth? Its scented leaf
Curls manifold, — all love's delights blow double :
*T is said this floweret is inscribed with grief, -
But let that hint of a forgotten trouble.
I plucked the primrose at night's dewy noon;
Like Hope, it showed its blossoms in the night; -
'T was like Endymion, watching for the moon !
And here are sunflowers, amorous of light !
These golden buttercups are April's seal,-
The daisy stars her constellations be :
These grew so lowly, I was forced to kneel,
Therefore I pluck no daisies but for thee !
Ilere 's daisies for the morn, primrose for gloom,
Pansies and roses for the noontide hours: —
A wight once made a dial of their bloom,— .
So may thy life be measured out by flowers !
The dead are in their silent graves,
And the dew is cold above,
And the living weep and sigh
Over dust that once was love.
Once I only wept the dead,
But now the living cause my pain :
How couldst thou steal me from my tears
To leave me to my tears again?
My mother rests beneath the sod, -
Her rest is calm and very deep :
I wished that she could see our loves,
But now I gladden in her sleep.
Last night unbound my raven locks,
The morning saw them turned to gray,
Once they were black and well beloved,
But thou art changed, — and so are they !
The useless lock I gave thee once,
To gaze upon and think of me,
Was ta’en with smiles, but this was torn
In sorrow that I send to thee.
The Autumn is old,
The sere leaves are flying; -
He hath gathered up gold,
And now he is dying; —
Old age, begin sighing !
The vintage is ripe,
The harvest is heaping; —
But some that have sowed
Have no riches for reaping; —
Poor wretch, fall a weeping!
The year's in the wane,
There is nothing adorning,
The night has no eve,
And the day has no morning; —
Cold winter gives warning.
The rivers run chill,
The red sun is sinking,
And I am grown old,
And life is fast shrinking; —
Here's enow for sad thinking!
Come, let us set our careful breasts,
Like Philomel, against the thorn,
To aggravate the inward grief,
That makes her accents so forlorn ;
The world has many cruel points,
Whereby our bosoms have been torn,
And there are dainty themes of grief,
In sadness to outlast the morn,· True honor's dearth, affection's death,
Neglectful pride, and cankering scorn, With all the piteous tales that tears Have watered since the world was born.
The world !--it is a wilderness,
Where tears are hung on every tree;
For thus my gloomy fantasy
Makes all things weep with me!
Come let us sit and watch the sky,
And fancy clouds where no clouds be ;
Grief is enough to blot the eye,
And make heaven black with misery.
Why should birds sing such merry notes,
Unless they were more blest than we?
No sorrow ever chokes their throats,
Except sweet nightingale ; for she
Was born to pain our hearts the more
With her sad melody.
Why shines the sun, except that he
Makes gloomy nooks for Grief to hide,
And pensive shades for Melancholy,
When all the earth is bright beside ?
Let clay wear smiles, and green grass wave,
Mirth shall not win us back again,
Whilst man is made of his own grave,
And fairest clouds but gilded rain !
I saw my mother in her shroud,
Her cheek was cold and very pale;
And ever since I've looked on all
As creatures doomed to fail !
Why do buds ope, except to die?
Ay, let us watch the roses wither,
And think of our loves' cheeks ;
And, O, how quickly time doth fly
To bring death's winter hither!
Minutes, hours, days, and weeks.
Months, years, and ages, shrink to naught;
An age past is but a thought !
Ay, let us think of him a while,
That, with a coffin for a boat,
Rows daily o’er the Stygian moat,
And for our table choose a tomb:
There's dark enough in any skull
To charge with black a raven plume;
And for the saddest funeral thoughts
A winding-sheet hath ample room,
Where Death, with his keen-pointed style,
Hath writ the common doom.
How wide the yew-tree spreads its gloom,
And o'er the dead lets fall its dew,
As if in tears it wept for them,
The many human families
That sleep around its stem !
How cold the dead have made these stones,
With natural drops kept ever wet !
Lo! here the best, the worst, the world
Doth now remember or forget,
Are in one common ruin hurled,
And love and hate are calmly met ;
The loveliest eyes that ever shone,
The fairest hands, and locks of jet.
Is 't not enough to vex our souls,
And fill our eyes, that we have set
Our love upon a rose's leaf,
Our hearts upon a violet ?
Blue eyes, red cheeks, are frailer yet;
And, sometimes, at their swift decay
Beforehand we must fret :
The roses bud and bloom again ;