Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;

For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globèd peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty-Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight

Veiled Melancholy has her sovereign shrine,

Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine:

His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,

And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

John Keats [1795-1821]


THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;

"Moan, Moan, Ye Dying Gales" 3153.

My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary..

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [1807-1882]


I KNOW you: solitary griefs,
Desolate passions, aching hours!
I know you: tremulous beliefs,
Agonized hopes, and ashen flowers!

The winds are sometimes sad to me;
The starry spaces full of fear:
Mine is the sorrow on the sea,
And mine the sigh of places drear.

Some players upon plaintive strings
Publish their wistfulness abroad:
I have not spoken of these things,
Save to one man, and unto God.

Lionel Johnson [1867-1902]


MOAN, moan, ye dying gales!

The saddest of your tales
Is not so sad as life;
Nor have you e'er began
A theme so wild as man,

Or with such sorrow rife.
Fall, fall, thou withered leaf!
Autumn sears not like grief,

Nor kills such lovely flowers;

More terrible the storm,
More mournful the deform,

When dark misfortune lowers.

Hush! hush! thou trembling lyre,
Silence, ye vocal choir,

And thou, mellifluous lute,
For man soon breathes his last,
And all his hope is past,

And all his music mute.

Then, when the gale is sighing,
And when the leaves are dying,
And when the song is o'er,

O, let us think of those
Whose lives are lost in woes,

Whose cup of grief runs o'er.

Henry Neele [1798-1828]


COUNT each affliction, whether light or grave,
God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou
With courtesy receive him; rise and bow;
And, ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave;
Then lay before him all thou hast; allow
No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow,

Or mar thy hospitality; no wave

Of mortal tumult to obliterate

The soul's marmoreal calmness. Grief should be,

Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate;

Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free; Strong to consume small troubles; to commend

Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end. Aubrey Thomas De Vere [1814-1902]


O TIME! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on Sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceived away;


On thee I rest my only hope at last,


And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile:
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while:-
Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure,
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!
William Lisle Bowles [1762-1850]


I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare

Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death-
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:

If it could weep, it could arise and go.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning [1806-1861]


DISMAL and purposeless and gray
The world and all its woe, we say,
Poor slaves! who in hot hours of pain
Yearn for the night to come again.

Like tortured men at length set free,
We stagger from our misery,

And watch with foolish, pain-dimmed eyes

Vague lands and unremembered skies.

When lo! what sudden splendor spreads
Its heaven of rose above our heads!
What soft winds visit our despair;
What lights, what voices everywhere!

Ere sorrow taught us, knew we these
Stupendous hills, amazing seas?
Shone there such moonlight on the lawn;
So deep a secret in the dawn?

What wandering hue from Paradise
Has found a home in children's eyes?
What women these, whose faces bless
Life with such tranquil tenderness?

When earth and sky and man seem fair,
Be this my watchword, this my prayer:
Grant me, O Gods, to prize aright
Sorrow, since sorrow gives me sight.

St. John Lucas [18


FLOW down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver

No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet, then a river:

No where by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder-tree,
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,

For ever and for ever.

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]

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