She Sung Of Love – Thomas Moore

She sung of Love, while o’er her lyre 
The rosy rays of evening fell, 
As if to feed with their soft fire 
The soul within that trembling shell. 
The same rich light hung o’er her cheek, 
And play’d around those lips that sung 
And spoke, as flowers would sing and speak, 
If Love could lend their leaves a tongue. 

But soon the West no longer burn’d, 
Each rosy ray from heaven withdrew; 
And, when to gaze again I turn’d, 
The minstrel’s form seem’d fading too. 
As if her light and heaven’s were one, 
The glory all had left that frame; 
And from her glimmering lips the tone, 
As from a parting spirit, came.

Who ever loved, but had the thought 
That he and all he loved must part? 
Fill’d with this fear, I flew and caught 
The fading image to my heart — 
And cried, “Oh Love! is this thy doom? 
Oh light of youth’s resplendent day! 
Must ye then lose your golden bloom, 
And thus, like sunshine die away?” 

Drink To Her – Thomas Moore

Drink to her who long 
Hath waked the poet’s sigh, 
The girl who gave to song 
What gold could never buy. 
Oh! woman’s heart was made 
For minstrel hands alone; 
By other fingers play’d, 
It yields not half the tone. 
Then here’s to her who long 
Hath waked the poet’s sigh, 
The girl who gave to song 
What gold could never buy. 

At Beauty’s door of glass, 
When Wealth and Wit once stood, 
They ask’d her, “which might pass?” 
She answer’d, “he who could.” 
With golden key Wealth thought 
To pass — but ‘twould not do: 
While Wit a diamond brought, 
Which cut his bright way through. 
So here’s to her who long 
Hath waked the poet’s sigh, 
The girl who gave to song 
What gold could never buy. 

The love that seeks a home 
Where wealth or grandeur shines, 
Is like the gloomy gnome, 
That dwells in dark mines. 
But oh! the poet’s love 
Can boast a brighter sphere; 
Its native home’s above, 
Though woman keeps it here. 
Then drink to her who long 
Hath waked the poet’s sigh, 
The girl who gave to song 
What gold could never buy. 

Poem – The  Fortune Teller 

Down in the valley come meet me to-night, 

And I’ll tell you your fortune truly 

As ever ’twas told, by the new-moon’s light, 

To a young maiden, shining as newly. 
But, for the world, let no one be nigh, 

Lest haply the stars should deceive me, 

Such secrets between you and me and the sky 

Should never go farther, believe me. 
If at that hour the heavens be not dim, 

My science shall call up before you 

A male apparition — the image of him 

Whose destiny ’tis to adore you. 
And if to that phantom you’ll be kind, 

So fondly around you he’ll hover, 

You’ll hardly, my dear, any difference find 

‘Twixt him and a true living lover. 
Down at your feet, in the pale moonlight, 

He’ll kneel, with a warmth of devotion — 

An ardour, of which such an innocent sprite 

You’d scarcely believe had a notion. 
What other thoughts and events may arise, 

As in destiny’s book I’ve not seen them, 

Must only be left to the stars and your eyes 

To settle, ere morning, between them. 

Poem – The Dream of those Days

The dream of those days when first I sung thee is o’er 

Thy triumph hath stain’d the charm thy sorrows then wore; 

And even the light which Hope once shed o’er thy chains, 

Alas, not a gleam to grace thy freedom remains. 
Say, is it that slavery sunk so deep in thy heart, 

That still the dark brand is there, though chainless thou art; 

And Freedom’s sweet fruit, for which thy spirit long burn’d, 

Now, reaching at last thy lip, to ashes hath turn’d? 
Up Liberty’s steep by Truth and Eloquence led, 

With eyes on her temple fix’d, how proud was thy tread! 

Ah, better thou ne’er hadst lived that summit to gain, 

Denied in the porch, than thus dishonour the fane. 

Poem – The Donkey and His Panniers

A Donkey, whose talent for burdens was wondrous,

So much that you’d swear he rejoic’d in a load,

One day had to jog under panniers so pond’rous,

That — down the poor Donkey fell smack on the road!
His owners and drivers stood round in amaze —

What! Neddy, the patient, the prosperous Neddy,

So easy to drive, through the dirtiest ways,

For every description of job-work so ready!
One driver (whom Ned might have “hail’d” as a “brother”)

Had just been proclaiming his Donkey’s renown

For vigour, for spirit, for one thing or another —

When, lo, ‘mid his praises, the Donkey came down!
But, how to upraise him? – one shouts, t’other whistles,

While Jenky, the Conjurer, wisest of all,

Declar’d that an “over-production of thistles” —

(Here Ned gave a stare) — “was the cause of his fall.”
Another wise Solomon cries, as he passes —

“There, let him alone, and the fit will soon cease;

The beast has been fighting with other jack-asses,

And this is his mode of “transition to peace”.”
Some look’d at his hoofs, and with learned grimaces,

Pronounc’d that too long without shoes he had gone —

“Let the blacksmith provide him a sound metal basis

(The wise-acres said), and he’s sure to jog on.”
Meanwhile, the poor Neddy, in torture and fear,

Lay under his panniers, scarce able to groan;

And — what was still dolefuller – lending an ear

To advisers, whose ears were a match for his own.
At length, a plain rustic, whose wit went so far

As to see others’ folly, roar’d out, as he pass’d —

“Quick — off with the panniers, all dolts as ye are,

Or, your prosperous Neddy will soon kick his last!” 

Poem – Take Back the Virgin Page

Take back the virgin page, 

White and unwritten still; 

Some hand, more calm and sage, 

The leaf must fill. 

Thoughts come, as pure as light 

Pure as even you require; 

But, oh! each word I write 

Love turns to fire. 
Yet let me keep the book: 

Oft shall my heart renew, 

When on its leaves I look, 

Dear thoughts of you. 

Like you, ’tis fair and bright; 

Like you, too bright and fair 

To let wild passion write 

One wrong wish there. 
Haply, when from those eyes 

Far, far away I roam, 

Should calmer thoughts arise 

Towards you and home; 

Fancy may trace some line, 

Worthy those eyes to meet, 

Thoughts that not burn, but shine, 

Pure, calm, and sweet. 
And as, o’er ocean far, 

Seamen their records keep, 

Led by some hidden star 

Through the cold deep; 

So may the words I write 

Tell through what storms I stray — 

You still the unseen light, 

Guiding my way. 

Poem – Lay his Sword By his Side

Lay his sword by his side — it hath served him too well

 Not to rest near his pillow below; 

To the last moment true, from his hand ere it fell, 

Its point was still turn’d to a flying foe. 

Fellow-labourers in life, let them slumber in death, 

Side by side, as becomes the reposing brave — 

That sword which he loved still unbroke in its sheath, 

And himself unsubdued in his grave. 
Yet pause — for, in fancy, a still voice I hear, 

As if breathed from his brave heart’s remains; — 

Faint echo of that which, in Slavery’s ear, 

Once sounded the war-word, “Burst your chains.” 

And it cries, from the grave where the hero lies deep, 

“Though the day of your Chieftain for ever hath set, 

Oh leave not his sword thus inglorious to sleep — 

It hath victory’s life in it yet! 
“Should some alien, unworthy such weapon to wield, 

Dare to touch thee, my own gallant sword, 

Then rest in thy sheath, like a talisman seal’d, 

Or return to the grave of thy chainless lord. 

But, if grasp’d by a hand that hath learn’d the proud use 

Of a falchion, like thee, on the battle-plain, 

Then, at Liberty’s summons, like lightning let loose, 

Leap forth from thy dark sheath again!” 

Poem – Lalla Rookh 

“How sweetly,” said the trembling maid,

 Of her own gentle voice afraid,

So long had they in silence stood,

Looking upon that tranquil flood–

“How sweetly does the moon-beam smile

To-night upon yon leafy isle!

Oft in my fancy’s wanderings,

I’ve wish’d that little isle had wings,

And we, within its fairy bow’rs,

Were wafted off to seas unknown,

Where not a pulse should beat but ours,

And we might live, love, die alone!

Far from the cruel and the cold,–

Where the bright eyes of angels only

Should come around us, to behold

A paradise so pure and lonely.

Would this be world enough for thee?”–

Playful she turn’d, that he might see

The passing smile her cheek put on;

But when she mark’d how mournfully

His eyes met hers, that smile was gone;

And, bursting into heart-felt tears,

“Yes, yes,” she cried, “my hourly fears

My dreams have boded all too right–

We part–for ever part–to-night!

I knew, I knew it could not last–

‘Twas bright, ’twas heav’nly, but ’tis past!

Oh! ever thus, from childhood’s hour,

I’ve seen my fondest hopes decay;

I never lov’d a tree or flow’r,

But ’twas the first to fade away.

I never nurs’d a dear gazelle

To glad me with its soft black eye,

But when it came to know me well

And love me, it was sure to die!

Now too–the joy most like divine

Of all I ever dreamt or knew,

To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine,–

Oh misery! must I lose that too?

Yet go–on peril’s brink we meet;–

Those frightful rocks–that treach’rous sea–

No, never come again–though sweet,

Though heav’n, it may be death to thee.

Farewell–and blessings on thy way,

Where’er thou goest, beloved stranger!

Better to sit and watch that ray,

And think thee safe, though far away,

Than have thee near me, and in danger!” 

Poem – In the Morning of Life

In the morning of life, when its cares are unknown, 

And its pleasures in all their new lustre begin, 

When we live in a bright-beaming world of our own, 

And the light that surrounds us is all from within; 

Oh ’tis not, believe me, in that happy time 

We can love, as in hours of less transport we may; — 

Of our smiles, of our hopes, ’tis the gay sunny prime, 

But affection is truest when these fade away. 
When we see the first glory of youth pass us by, 

Like a leaf on the stream that will never return, 

When our cup, which had sparkled with pleasure so high, 

First tastes of the other, the dark-flowing urn; 

Then, then in the time when affection holds sway 

With a depth and a tenderness joy never knew; 

Love, nursed among pleasures, is faithless as they, 

But the love born of Sorrow, like Sorrow, is true. 
In climes full of sunshine, though splendid the flowers, 

Their sighs have no freshness, their odour no worth; 

‘Tis the cloud and the mist of our own Isle of showers 

That call the rich spirit of fragrancy forth. 

So it is not ‘mid splendour, prosperity, mirth, 

That the depth of Love’s generous spirit appears; 

To the sunshine of smiles it may first owe its birth, 

But the soul of its sweetness is drawn out by tears. 

Poem – I saw thy Form in Youthful Prime

I saw thy form in youthful prime,

 Nor thought that pale decay 

Would steal before the steps of Time, 

And waste its bloom away, Mary! 

Yet still thy features wore that light, 

Which fleets not with the breath; 

And life ne’er look’d more truly bright 

Than in thy smile of death, Mary! 
As streams that run o’er golden mines, 

Yet humbly, calmly glide, 

Nor seem to know the wealth that shines 

Within their gentle tide, Mary! 

So veil’d beneath the simplest guise, 

Thy radiant genius shone, 

And that which charm’d all other eyes 

Seem’d worthless in thy own, Mary! 
If souls could always dwell above, 

Thou ne’er hadst left that sphere; 

Or could we keep the souls we love, 

We ne’er had lost thee here, Mary! 

Though many a gifted mind we meet, 

Though fairest forms we see, 

To live with them is far less sweet 

Than to remember thee, Mary! 

Poem – I saw from the Beach 

I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,

 A bark o’er the waters move gloriously on; 

I came when the sun o’er that beach was declining, 

The bark was still there, but the waters were gone. 
And such is the fate of our life’s early promise, 

So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known; 

Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us, 

And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone. 
Oh, who would not welcome that moment’s returning 

When passion first waked a new life through his frame, 

And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning, 

Gave out all its sweets to love’s exquisite flame. 

Poem – Her Picture

Go then, if she, whose shade thou art,

No more will let thee soothe my pain;

Yet, tell her, it has cost this heart

Some pangs, to give thee back again.
Tell her, the smile was not so dear,

With which she made the semblance mine,

As bitter is the burning tear,

With which I now the gift resign.
Yet go — and could she still restore,

As some exchange for taking thee.

The tranquil look which first I wore,

When her eyes found me calm and free;
Could she give back the careless flow,

The spirit that my heart then knew —

Yet, no, ’tis vain — go, picture, go —

Smile at me once, and then — adieu!