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Poems By Poet Thomas Hood  1/28/2015 10:16:41 PM
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Thomas Hood   Best Poems From
  THOMAS HOOD (1789-1845)
 
 
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  21.     

The Stars Are With The Voyager

The stars are with the voyager
Wherever he may sail;
The moon is constant to her time;
The sun will never fail;
But follow, follow round the world,
The green earth and the sea,
So love is with the lover's heart,
Wherever he may be.
Wherever he may be, the stars
Must daily lose their light;
The moon will veil her in the shade;
The sun will set at night.
The sun may set, but constant love
Will shine when he's away;
So that dull night is never night,
And day is brighter day.
 
Thomas Hood
   
 

   
   
 

  22.     

The Haunted House

Oh, very gloomy is the house of woe,
Where tears are falling while the bell is knelling,
With all the dark solemnities that show
That Death is in the dwelling!

Oh, very, very dreary is the room
Where Love, domestic Love, no longer nestles,
But smitten by the common stroke of doom,
The corpse lies on the trestles!

But house of woe, and hearse, and sable pall,
The narrow home of the departed mortal,
Ne’er looked so gloomy as that Ghostly Hall,
With its deserted portal!

The centipede along the threshold crept,
The cobweb hung across in mazy tangle,
And in its winding sheet the maggot slept
At every nook and angle.

The keyhole lodged the earwig and her brood,
The emmets of the steps has old possession,
And marched in search of their diurnal food
In undisturbed procession.

As undisturbed as the prehensile cell
Of moth or maggot, or the spider’s tissue,
For never foot upon that threshold fell,
To enter or to issue.

O’er all there hung the shadow of a fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted.

Howbeit, the door I pushed—or so I dreamed--
Which slowly, slowly gaped, the hinges creaking
With such a rusty eloquence, it seemed
That Time himself was speaking.

But Time was dumb within that mansion old,
Or left his tale to the heraldic banners
That hung from the corroded walls, and told
Of former men and manners.

Those tattered flags, that with the opened door,
Seemed the old wave of battle to remember,
While fallen fragments danced upon the floor
Like dead leaves in December.

The startled bats flew out, bird after bird,
The screech-owl overhead began to flutter,
And seemed to mock the cry that she had heard
Some dying victim utter!

A shriek that echoed from the joisted roof,
And up the stair, and further still and further,
Till in some ringing chamber far aloof
In ceased its tale of murther!

Meanwhile the rusty armor rattled round,
The banner shuddered, and the ragged streamer;
All things the horrid tenor of the sound
Acknowledged with a tremor.

The antlers where the helmet hung, and belt,
Stirred as the tempest stirs the forest branches,
Or as the stag had trembled when he felt
The bloodhound at his haunches.

The window jingled in its crumbled frame,
And through its many gaps of destitution
Dolorous moans and hollow sighings came,
Like those of dissolution.

The wood-louse dropped, and rolled into a ball,
Touched by some impulse occult or mechanic;
And nameless beetles ran along the wall
In universal panic.

The subtle spider, that, from overhead,
Hung like a spy on human guilt and error,
Suddenly turned, and up its slender thread
Ran with a nimble terror.

The very stains and fractures on the wall,
Assuming features solemn and terrific,
Hinted some tragedy of that old hall,
Locked up in hieroglyphic.

Some tale that might, perchance, have solved the doubt,
Wherefore, among those flags so dull and livid,
The banner of the bloody hand shone out
So ominously vivid.

Some key to that inscrutable appeal
Which made the very frame of Nature quiver,
And every thrilling nerve and fiber feel
So ague-like a shiver.

For over all there hung a cloud of fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted!

Prophetic hints that filled the soul with dread,
But through one gloomy entrance pointing mostly,
The while some secret inspiration said,
“That chamber is the ghostly!”

Across the door no gossamer festoon
Swung pendulous, --no web, no dusty fringes,
No silky chrysalis or white cocoon,
About its nooks and hinges.

The spider shunned the interdicted room,
The moth, the beetle, and the fly were banished,
And when the sunbeam fell athwart the gloom,
The very midge had vanished.

One lonely ray that glanced upon a bed,
As if with awful aim direct and certain,
To show the Bloody Hand, in burning red,
Embroidered on the curtain.
 
Thomas Hood

Read more: inspiration poems, house poems, fear poems, food poems, lonely poems, nature poems, remember poems, red poems, home poems, dark poems, death poems, dream poems, running poems, sleep poems, wind poems, dance poems
   
 

   
   
 

  23.     

A Parental Ode to My Son, Aged 3 Years and 5 months

Thou happy, happy elf!
(But stop,—first let me kiss away that tear—)
Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he's poking peas into his ear!)
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light,
Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin;
(Good Heavens! the child is swallowing a pin!)

Thou little tricksy Puck!
With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air;
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore afire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In love's dear chain, so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents; (Drat the boy!
There goes my ink!)

Thou cherub—but of earth;
Fit playfellow for Fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and myrth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail!)
Thou human hummingbee, extracting honey
From every blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in youth's elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble!—that's his precious nose!)

Thy father's pride and hope!
(He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)
With pure heart newly stamped from Nature's mint;
(Where did he learn that squint!)
Thou young domestic dove!
(He'll have that jug off with another shove!)
Dear nursling of the Hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)
Little epitome of man!
(He'll climb upon the table, that's his plan!)
Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life
(He's got a knife!)

Thou enviable being!
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John!
Toss the light ball—bestride the stick—
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies, buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He's got the scissors, snipping at your gown!)

Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)
Balmy and breathing music like the South,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove;
(I'll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write unless he's sent above!)
 
Thomas Hood
   
 

   
   
 

  24.     

The Dream of Eugene Aram

'Twas in the prime of summer-time
An evening calm and cool,
And four-and-twenty happy boys
Came bounding out of school:
There were some that ran and some that leapt,
Like troutlets in a pool.

Away they sped with gamesome minds,
And souls untouched by sin;
To a level mead they came, and there
They drave the wickets in:
Pleasantly shone the setting sun
Over the town of Lynn.

Like sportive deer they coursed about,
And shouted as they ran,-
Turning to mirth all things of earth,
As only boyhood can;
But the Usher sat remote from all,
A melancholy man!

His hat was off, his vest apart,
To catch heaven's blessed breeze;
For a burning thought was in his brow,
And his bosom ill at ease:
So he leaned his head on his hands, and read
The book upon his knees!

Leaf after leaf he turned it o'er
Nor ever glanced aside,
For the peace of his soul he read that book
In the golden eventide:
Much study had made him very lean,
And pale, and leaden-eyed.

At last he shut the pond'rous tome,
With a fast and fervent grasp
He strained the dusky covers close,
And fixed the brazen hasp;
'Oh, God! could I so close my mind,
And clasp it with a clasp! '

Then leaping on his feet upright,
Some moody turns he took,-
Now up the mead, then down the mead,
And past a shady nook,-
And lo! he saw a little boy
That pored upon a book.

'My gentle lad, what is't you read -
Romance or fairy fable?
Or is it some historic page,
Of kings and crowns unstable? '
The young boy gave an upward glance,-
'It is 'The Death of Abel.''

The Usher took six hasty strides,
As smit with sudden pain, -
Six hasty strides beyond the place,
Then slowly back again;
And down he sat beside the lad,
And talked with him of Cain;

And, long since then, of bloody men,
Whose deeds tradition saves;
Of lonely folks cut off unseen,
And hid in sudden graves;
Of horrid stabs, in groves forlorn,
And murders done in caves;

And how the sprites of injured men
Shriek upward from the sod. -
Ay, how the ghostly hand will point
To show the burial clod:
And unknown facts of guilty acts
Are seen in dreams from God!

He told how murderers walk the earth
Beneath the curse of Cain, -
With crimson clouds before their eyes,
And flames about their brain:
For blood has left upon their souls
Its everlasting stain!

'And well,' quoth he, 'I know for truth,
Their pangs must be extreme, -
Woe, woe, unutterable woe, -
Who spill life's sacred stream!
For why, Methought last night I wrought
A murder, in a dream!

One that had never done me wrong -
A feeble man and old;
I led him to a lonely field,
The moon shone clear and cold:
Now here, said I, this man shall die,
And I will have his gold!

'Two sudden blows with a ragged stick,
And one with a heavy stone,
One hurried gash with a hasty knife, -
And then the deed was done:
There was nothing lying at my foot
But lifeless flesh and bone!

'Nothing but lifeless flesh and bone,
That could not do me ill;
And yet I feared him all the more,
For lying there so still:
There was a manhood in his look,
That murder could not kill! '

'And lo! the universal air
Seemed lit with ghastly flame;
Ten thousand thousand dreadful eyes
Were looking down in blame:
I took the dead man by his hand,
And called upon his name!

'O God! it made me quake to see
Such sense within the slain!
But when I touched the lifeless clay,
The blood gushed out amain!
For every clot, a burning spot
Was scorching in my brain!

'My head was like an ardent coal,
My heart as solid ice;
My wretched, wretched soul, I knew,
Was at the Devil's price:
A dozen times I groaned: the dead
Had never groaned but twice!

'And now, from forth the frowning sky,
From the Heaven's topmost height,
I heard a voice - the awful voice
Of the blood-avenging sprite -
'Thou guilty man! take up thy dead
And hide it from my sight! '

'I took the dreary body up,
And cast it in a stream, -
A sluggish water, black as ink,
The depth was so extreme:
My gentle boy, remember this
Is nothing but a dream!

'Down went the corse with a hollow plunge,
And vanished in the pool;
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands,
And washed my forehead cool,
And sat among the urchins young,
That evening in the school.

'Oh, Heaven! to think of their white souls,
And mine so black and grim!
I could not share in childish prayer,
Nor join in Evening Hymn:
Like a Devil of the Pit I seemed,
'Mid holy Cherubim!

'And peace went with them, one and all,
And each calm pillow spread;
But Guilt was my grim Chamberlain
That lighted me to bed;
And drew my midnight curtains round
With fingers bloody red!

'All night I lay in agony,
In anguish dark and deep,
My fevered eyes I dared not close,
But stared aghast at Sleep:
For Sin had rendered unto her
The keys of Hell to keep!

'All night I lay in agony,
From weary chime to chime,
With one besetting horrid hint,
That racked me all the time;
A mighty yearning, like the first
Fierce impulse unto crime!

'One stern, tyrannic thought, that made
All other thoughts its slave;
Stronger and stronger every pulse
Did that temptation crave, -
Still urging me to go and see
The Dead Man in his grave!

'Heavily I rose up, as soon
As light was in the sky,
And sought the black accursèd pool
With a wild misgiving eye:
And I saw the Dead in the river-bed,
For the faithless stream was dry.

'Merrily rose the lark, and shook
The dewdrop from its wing;
But I never marked its morning flight,
I never heard it sing:
For I was stooping once again
Under the horrid thing.

'With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,
I took him up and ran;
There was no time to dig a grave
Before the day began:
In a lonesome wood, with heaps of leaves,
I hid the murdered man!

'And all that day I read in school,
But my thought was otherwhere;
As soon as the midday task was done,
In secret I went there:
And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,
And still the corpse was bare!

'Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one
That earth refused to keep:
Or land, or sea, though he should be
Ten thousand fathoms deep.

'So wills the fierce avenging Sprite,
Till blood for blood atones!
Ay, though he's buried in a cave,
And trodden down with stones,
And years have rotted off his flesh, -
The world shall see his bones!

'Oh God! that horrid, horrid dream
Besets me now awake!
Again- again, with dizzy brain,
The human life I take:
And my red right hand grows raging hot,
Like Cranmer's at the stake.

'And still no peace for the restless clay,
Will wave or mould allow;
The horrid thing pursues my soul -
It stands before me now! '
The fearful Boy looked up, and saw
Huge drops upon his brow.

That very night while gentle sleep
The urchin's eyelids kissed,
Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.
 
Thomas Hood

Read more: school poems, murder poems, peace poems, dream poems, lonely poems, heaven poems, rose poems, god poems, romance poems, sleep poems, fairy poems, red poems, night poems, sky poems, river poems, remember poems, summer poems, truth poems, happy poems, moon poems
   
 
 
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Poems By Poet Thomas Hood