Lines Written Beneath A Picture

Dear object of defeated care!
Though now of Love and thee bereft,
To reconcile me with despair,
Thing image and any tears are left.

'Tis said with Sorrow Time can cope;
But this I feel can ne'er be true:
For by the death?blow of my Hope
My Memory immortal grew.

Athens, January 1811.

by George Gordon Byron.

Impromptu, In Reply To A Friend

When, from the heart where Sorrow sits,
Her dusky shadow mounts too high,
And o'er the changing aspect flits,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink:
My thoughts their dungeon know too well;
Back to my breast the wanderers shrink,
And droop within their silent cell.

by George Gordon Byron.

Sun Of The Sleepless!

Sun of the sleepless! melancholy star!
Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
That show'st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
How like art thou to joy remember'd well!

So gleams the past, the light of other days,
Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays;
A night-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold,
Distinct but distant -- clear -- but, oh how cold!

by George Gordon Byron.

Upon Young Mr. Rogers, Of Gloucestershire

Of gentle blood, his parents' only treasure,
Their lasting sorrow, and their vanished pleasure,
Adorned with features, virtues, wit, and grace,
A large provision for so short a race:
More moderate gifts might have prolonged his date,
Too early fitted for a better state:
But, knowing heaven his home, to shun delay,
He leaped o'er age, and took the shortest way.

by John Dryden.

Miss Lloyd Has Now Went To Miss Green

Miss Lloyd has now sent to Miss Green,
As, on opening the box, may be seen,
Some years of a Black Ploughman's Gauze,
To be made up directly, because
Miss Lloyd must in mourning appear
For the death of a Relative dear--
Miss Lloyd must expect to receive
This license to mourn and to grieve,
Complete, ere the end of the week--
It is better to write than to speak

by Jane Austen.

FILL the bowl with rosy wine,
Around our temples roses twine.
And let us cheerfully awhile,
Like the wine and roses smile.
Crown'd with roses we contemn
Gyge's wealthy diadem.
Today is ours; what do we fear?
Today is ours; we have it here.
Let's treat it kindly, that it may
Wish, at least, with us to stay.
Let's banish business, banish sorrow;
To the Gods belongs tomorrow.

by Abraham Cowley.

Three Airs For The Beggar's Opera, Air Xxii

Youth's the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty;
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her beauty.
Let's be gay,
While we may,
Beauty's a flower despis'd in decay.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not tomorrow.
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is nought but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time's on the wing,
Life never knows the return of spring.

by John Gay.

The Solitary Lyre

Wherefore, unlaurell'd Boy,
Whom the contemptuous Muse will not inspire,
With a sad kind of joy
Still sing'st thou to thy solitary lyre?

The melancholy winds
Pour through unnumber'd reeds their idle woes,
And every Naiad finds
A stream to weep her sorrow as it flows.

Her sighs unto the air
The Wood-maid's native oak doth broadly tell,
And Echo's fond despair
Intelligible rocks re-syllable.

Wherefore then should not I,
Albeit no haughty Muse my heart inspire,
Fated of grief to die,
Impart it to my solitary lyre?

by George Darley.

Stanzas On The Taking Of Quebec And The Death Of General Wolfe

AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.

O WOLFE! to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
QUEBEC in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.

Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes:
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead-
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!

by Oliver Goldsmith.

O hush, my little baby brother;
Sleep, my love, upon my knee.
What though, dear child, we've lost our mother;
That can never trouble thee.


You are but ten weeks old to-morrow;
What can you know of our loss?
The house is full enough of sorrow.
Little baby, don't be cross.


Peace, cry not so, my dearest love;
Hush, my baby-bird, lie still.-
He's quiet now, he does not move,
Fast asleep is little Will.


My only solace, only joy,
Since the sad day I lost my mother,
Is nursing her own Willy boy,
My little orphan brother.

by Charles Lamb.

Epitaph [to This Grave Is Committed]

I was a friend, On this sad stone a pious look bestow,
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe;
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast,
Let each rebellious murmur be supprest;
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us, how vain!
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious, to arraign!
Pure from the stains of a polluted age,
In early bloom of life, they left the stage:
Not doom'd in lingering woe to waste their breath
One moment snatch'd Them from the power of Death:
They liv'd united, and united died;
Happy the friends, whom Death cannot divi
O man, to thee, to all.

by James Beattie.

Stanzas To A Lady, With The Poems Of Camoëns

This votive pledge of fond esteem,
Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou'lt prize;
It sings of Love's enchanting dream,
A theme we never can despise.

Who blames it but the envious fool,
The old and disappointed maid;
Or pupil of the prudish school,
In single sorrow doom'd to fade?

Then read, dear girl! with feeling read,
For thou wilt ne'er be one of those;
To thee in vain I shall not plead
In pity for the poet's woes.

He was in sooth a genuine bard;
His was no faint, fictitious flame.
Like his, may love be thy reward,
But not thy hapless fate the same.

by George Gordon Byron.

Song: Oh! Go To Sleep

Oh! go to sleep, my baby dear,
And I will hold thee on my knee;
Thy mother's in her winding sheet,
And thou art all that's left to me.
My hairs are white with grief and age,
I've borne the weight of every ill,
And I would lay me with my child,
But thou art left to love me still.

Should thy false father see thy face,
The tears would fill his cruel e'e,
But he has scorned thy mother's woe,
And he shall never look on thee:
But I will rear thee up alone,
And with me thou shalt aye remain;
For thou wilt have thy mother's smile,
And I shall see my child again.

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

The Death Of Abraham Lincoln

Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond of free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloody close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.

by William Cullen Bryant.

The Death Of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond of free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloddy close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.

by William Cullen Bryant.

Bright Be The Place Of Thy Soul!

Bright be the place of thy soul!
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.

On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine,
When we know that thy God is with thee.

Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be:
There should not be the shadow of gloom
In aught that reminds us of thee.

Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest:
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet: Oh! How I Love, On A Fair Summer's Eve

Oh! how I love, on a fair summer's eve,
When streams of light pour down the golden west,
And on the balmy zephyrs tranquil rest
The silver clouds, far -- far away to leave
All meaner thoughts, and take a sweet reprieve
From little cares; to find, with easy quest,
A fragrant wild, with Nature's beauty drest,
And there into delight my soul deceive.
There warm my breast with patriotic lore,
Musing on Milton's fate -- on Sydney's bier --
Till their stern forms before my mind arise:
Perhaps on wing of Poesy upsoar,
Full often dropping a delicious tear,
When some melodious sorrow spells mine eyes.

by John Keats.

Sonnet To Chatterton

O Chatterton! how very sad thy fate!
Dear child of sorrow -- son of misery!
How soon the film of death obscur'd that eye,
Whence Genius mildly falsh'd, and high debate.
How soon that voice, majestic and elate,
Melted in dying numbers! Oh! how nigh
Was night to thy fair morning. Thou didst die
A half-blown flow'ret which cold blasts amate.
But this is past: thou art among the stars
Of highest heaven: to the rolling spheres
Thou sweetly singest: nought thy hymning mars,
Above the ingrate world and human fears.
On earth the good man base detraction bars
From thy fair name, and waters it with tears.

by John Keats.

Death Of A Favorite Chamber Maid

O death, thy power I own,
Whose mission was to rush,
And snatch the rose, so quickly blown,
Down from its native bush;
The flower of beauty doom'd to pine,
Ascends from this to worlds divine.

Death is a joyful doom,
Let tears of sorrow dry,
The rose on earth but fades to bloom
And blossom in the sky.
Why should the soul resist the hand
That bears her to celestial land.

Then, bonny bird, farewell,
Till hence we meet again;
Perhaps I have not long to dwell
Within this cumb'rous chain,
Till on elysian shores eve meet,
Till grief is lost and joy complete.

by George Moses Horton.

My Soul Is Dark

My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.

by George Gordon Byron.

Epitaph On Two Young Men Of The Name Of Leitch, Who Were Drowned In Crossing The River Southesk

O thou! whose steps in sacred reverence tread
These lone dominions of the silent dead;
On this sad stone a pious look bestow,
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe;
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast,
Let each rebellious murmur be suppress'd;
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us how vain!
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious to arraign!
Pure from the stains of a polluted age,
In early bloom of life they left the stage:
Not doom'd in lingering woe to waste their breath,
One moment snatch'd them from the power of Death:
They lived united, and united died;
Happy the friends whom Death cannot divide!

by James Beattie.

Sonnet To Byron

Byron! how sweetly sad thy melody!
Attuning still the soul to tenderness,
As if soft Pity, with unusual stress,
Had touch'd her plaintive lute, and thou, being by,
Hadst caught the tones, nor suffer'd them to die.
O'ershadowing sorrow doth not make thee less
Delightful: thou thy griefs dost dress
With a bright halo, shining beamily,
As when a cloud the golden moon doth veil,
Its sides are ting'd with a resplendent glow,
Through the dark robe oft amber rays prevail,
And like fair veins in sable marble flow;
Still warble, dying swan! still tell the tale,
The enchanting tale, the tale of pleasing woe.

by John Keats.

Byron! how sweetly sad thy melody!
Attuning still the soul to tenderness,
As if soft Pity, with unusual stress,
Had touch'd her plaintive lute, and thou, being by,
Hadst caught the tones, nor suffer'd them to die.
O'ershadowing sorrow doth not make thee less
Delightful: thou thy griefs dost dress
With a bright halo, shining beamily,
As when a cloud the golden moon doth veil,
Its sides are ting'd with a resplendent glow,
Through the dark robe oft amber rays prevail,
And like fair veins in sable marble flow;
Still warble, dying swan! still tell the tale,
The enchanting tale, the tale of pleasing woe.

by John Keats.

The Taking Of Quebec

STANZAS ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC, AND DEATH OF
GENERAL WOLFE


AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.
O WOLFE! to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
QUEBEC in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.
Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes:
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead--
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!

by Oliver Goldsmith.

Sit Down, Sad Soul

SIT down, sad soul, and count
The moments flying:
Come,—tell the sweet amount
That ’s lost by sighing!
How many smiles?—a score?
Then laugh, and count no more;
For day is dying.

Lie down, sad soul, and sleep,
And no more measure
The flight of Time, nor weep
The loss of leisure;
But here, by this lone stream,
Lie down with us, and dream
Of starry treasure.

We dream: do thou the same:
We love—for ever;
We laugh; yet few we shame,
The gentle, never.
Stay, then, till Sorrow dies;
Then—hope and happy skies
Are thine for ever!

by Barry Cornwall.

Sonnet, To The Same (Genevra)

Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
My heart would wish away that ruder glow:
And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes--but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow.
For, through thy long dark lashes low depending,
The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky de­scending,
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet - To Genevra

Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
My heart would wish away that ruder glow:
And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes---but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
Soft as the last drops round Heaven's airy bow.
For, though thy long dark lashes low depending,
The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a Seraph from the sky descending,
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

by George Gordon Byron.

Oh! Snatched Away In Beauty's Bloom

Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of ' the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
And lingering pause and lightly tread;
Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead!

Away I we know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou - who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

by George Gordon Byron.

On The Sight Of Swans In Kensington Gardens

Queen-bird, that sittest on thy shining nest
And thy young cygnets without sorrow hatchest,
And thou, thou other royal bird, that watchest
Lest the white mother wandering feet molest:
Shrined are your offspring in a crystal cradle,
Brighter than Helen's ere she yet had burst
Her shelly prison. They shall be born at first
Strong, active, graceful, perfect, swan-like, able
To tread the land or waters with security,
Unlike poor human births, conceived in sin,
In grief brought forth, both outwardly and in
Confessing weakness, error, and impurity.
Did heavenly creatures own succession's line,
The births of heaven like to yours would shine.

by Charles Lamb.

Why Not Do It, Sir, Today?

'Why so I will, you noisy bird,
This very day I'll advertise you,
Perhaps some busy ones may prize you.
A fine-tongued parrot as was ever heard,
I'll word it thus-set forth all charms about you,
And say no family should be without you.'


Thus far a gentleman addressed a bird,
Then to his friend: 'An old procrastinator,
Sir, I am: do you wonder that I hate her?
Though she but seven words can say,
Twenty and twenty times a day
She interferes with all my dreams,
My projects, plans, and airy schemes,
Mocking my foible to my sorrow:
I'll advertise this bird to-morrow.'


To this the bird seven words did say:
'Why not do it, sir, to-day?'

by Charles Lamb.

Peace! What Do Tears Avail?

PEACE! what do tears avail?
She lies all dumb and pale,
And from her eye
The spirit of lovely life is fading,
And she must die!
Why looks the lover wroth? the friend upbraiding?
Reply, reply!

Hath she not dwelt too long
’Midst pain, and grief, and wrong?
Then, why not die?
Why suffer again her doom of sorrow,
And hopeless lie?
Why nurse the trembling dream until to-morrow?
Reply, reply!

Death! Take her to thine arms,
In all her stainless charms,
And with her fly
To heavenly haunts, where, clad in brightness,
The Angels lie.
Wilt bear her there, O Death! in all her whiteness?
Reply, reply!

by Barry Cornwall.

While Celia's Tears make sorrow bright,
Proud Grief sits swelling in her eyes;
The Sun, next those the fairest light,
Thus from the Ocean first did rise:
And thus thro' Mists we see the Sun,
Which else we durst not gaze upon.

These silver drops, like morning dew,
Foretell the fervour of the day:
So from one Cloud soft show'rs we view,
And blasting lightnings burst away.
The Stars that fall from Celia's eye
Declare our Doom in drawing nigh.

The Baby in that sunny Sphere
So like a Phaeton appears,
That Heav'n, the threaten'd World to spare,
Thought fit to drown him in her tears;
Else might th' ambitious Nymph aspire,
To set, like him, Heav'n too on fire.

by Alexander Pope.

The Poet's Song To His Wife

HOW many summers, love,
Have I been thine?
How many days, thou dove,
Hast thou been mine?
Time, like the winged wind
When ’t bends the flowers,
Hath left no mark behind,
To count the hours.

Some weight of thought, though loth,
On thee he leaves;
Some lines of care round both
Perhaps he weaves;
Some fears,—a soft regret
For joys scarce known;
Sweet looks we half forget;—
All else is flown!

Ah!—With what thankless heart
I mourn and sing!
Look, where our children start,
Like sudden Spring!
With tongues all sweet and low,
Like a pleasant rhyme,
They tell how much I owe
To thee and Time!

by Barry Cornwall.

To George Hayter, Esq.

ON HIS PICTURE OF THE TRIAL OF LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL.


Hayter! almost I deemed the pencil's art
Too weak to cope with that renownèd story,
That tale—of sorrow much, but more of glory,
How beauteous Russell played her matchless part.
Now, gazing on thy fervent work, my heart
Recants, and drinks therefrom unstinted pleasure;
For ne'er did history's pen, nor poet's measure,
More touching sense of that brave scene impart.
Kindling, I gaze; and, still the more I gaze,
I feel my blood in brisker current moving;
While pure and high emotions stream, like rays,
From his calm bearing—her intensest loving—
Till every breath I draw is honour's breath,
And my stirred heart's sole throb—heroic death.

by John Kenyon.

O SAY what is that thing call’d Light,
Which I must ne’er enjoy;
What are the blessings of the sight,
O tell your poor blind boy!

You talk of wondrous things you see,
You say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm, but how can he
Or make it day or night?

My day or night myself I make
Whene’er I sleep or play;
And could I ever keep awake
With me ’twere always day.

With heavy sighs I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I ne’er can know.

Then let not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy:
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
Although a poor blind boy.

by Colley Cibber.

Whilst tracing thy visage I sink in emotion,
For no other damsel so wond'rous I see;
Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,
I think of no other, my true-love, but thee.


With heart-burning rapture I gaze on thy beauty,
And fly like a bird to the boughs of a tree;
Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,
I fancy no other, my true-love, but thee.


Thus oft in the valley I think, and I wonder
Why cannot a maid with her lover agree?
Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,
I pine for no other, my true-love, but thee.


I'd fly from thy frowns with a heart full of sorrow--
Return, pretty damsel, and smile thou on me;
By every endeavor, I'll try thee forever,
And languish until I am fancied by thee.

by George Moses Horton.

The Eye Of Love

I know her story-telling eye
Has more expression than her tongue;
And from that heart-extorted sigh,
At once the peal of love is rung.

When that soft eye lets fall a tear
Of doating fondness as we part,
The stream is from a cause sincere,
And issues from a melting heart.

What shall her fluttering pulse restrain,
The life-watch beating from her soul,
When all the power of hate is slain,
And love permits it no control.

When said her tongue, I wish thee well,
Her eye declared it must be true;
And every sentence seem'd to tell
The tale of sorrow told by few.

When low she bow'd and wheel'd aside,
I saw her blushing temples fade;
Her smiles were sunk in sorrow's tide,
But love was in her eye betray'd.

by George Moses Horton.

To The Countess Of Blessington

You have ask'd for a verse:--the request
In a rhymer 'twere strange to deny;
But my Hippocrene was but my breast,
And my feelings (its fountain) are dry.

Were I now as I was, I had sung
What Lawrence has painted so well;
But the strain would expire on my tongue,
And the theme is too soft for my shell.

I am ashes where once I was fire,
And the bard in my bosom is dead;
What I loved I now merely admire,
And my heart is as grey as my head.

My life is not dated by years--
There are moments which act as plough;
And there is not a furrow appears
But is deep in my soul as my brow.

Let the young and the brilliant aspire
To sing what I gaze on in vain;
For sorrow has torn from my lyre
The string which was worthy the strain.

by George Gordon Byron.

To An Æolian Harp

Oh! breezy harp! that, with thy fond complaining,
Hast held my willing ear this whole night long;
Mourning, as one might deem, that pale moon's waning;
Sole listener, oft, of thy melodious song;
Sweet harp! if hushed awhile that tuneful sorrow,
Which may not flow unintermitted still,
A lover's prayer one strain, less sad, might borrow
Of all thou pourest at thine own sweet will;
Now when, her forehead in the moonlight beaming,
Yon dark-tress'd maid, beneath the softening hour,
As fain to lose no touch of thy sad streaming,
Leans to the night from forth her latticed bower;

And this low whispering air, and thy lorn ditty
Around her heart their mingled spell have wove;
Now cease awhile that lay, which plains for pity,
To wake thy bolder song that tells of love.

by John Kenyon.

Songs From The Beggar’s Opera: Air Iv-Cotillion

Act II, Scene iv, Air IV—Cotillion

Youth’s the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty:
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her beauty.
Let’s be gay
While we may,
Beauty’s a flower despised in decay.

Chorus. Youth’s the season, etc.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not to-morrow:
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is naught but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time’s on the wing,
Life never knows the return the spring.

Chorus. Let us drink, etc.

by John Gay.