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Poems By Poet Thomas Hood  9/1/2014 6:17:53 AM
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Thomas Hood   Best Poems From
  THOMAS HOOD (1789-1845)
 
 
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  33.     

A Retrospective Review

I

Oh, when I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind!—
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind!


II

A hoop was an eternal round
Of pleasure. In those days I found
A top a joyous thing;—
But now those past delights I drop,
My head, alas! is all my top,
And careful thoughts the string!


III

My marbles—once my bag was stored,—
Now I must play with Elgin's lord,
With Theseus for a taw!
My playful horse has slipt his string,
Forgotten all his capering,
And harness'd to the law!


IV

My kite—how fast and far it flew!
Whilst I, a sort of Franklin, drew
My pleasure from the sky!
'Twas paper'd o'er with studious themes,
The tasks I wrote—my present dreams
Will never soar so high!


V

My joys are wingless all and dead;
My dumps are made of more than lead;—
My flights soon find a fall;
My fears prevail, my fancies droop,
Joy never cometh with a hoop,
And seldom with a call!


VI

My football's laid upon the shelf;
I am a shuttlecock myself
The world knocks to and fro;—
My archery is all unlearn'd,
And grief against myself has turn'd
My arrows and my bow!


VII

No more in noontide sun I bask;
My authorship's an endless task,
My head's ne'er out of school:
My heart is pain'd with scorn and slight,
I have too many foes to fight,
And friends grown strangely cool!


VIII

The very chum that shared my cake
Holds out so cold a hand to shake,
It makes me shrink and sigh:—
On this I will not dwell and hang,—
The changeling would not feel a pang
Though these should meet his eye!


IX

No skies so blue or so serene
As then;—no leaves look half so green
As clothed the playground tree!
All things I loved are altered so,
Nor does it ease my heart to know
That change resides in me!


X

Oh for the garb that marked the boy,
The trousers made of corduroy,
Well ink'd with black and red;
The crownless hat, ne'er deem'd an ill—
It only let the sunshine still
Repose upon my head!


XI

Oh for the riband round the neck!
The careless dogs-ears apt to deck
My book and collar both!
How can this formal man be styled
Merely an Alexandrine child,
A boy of larger growth?


XII

Oh for that small, small beer anew!
And (heaven's own type) that mild sky-blue
That wash'd my sweet meals down;
The master even!—and that small Turk
That fagg'd me!—worse is now my work—
A fag for all the town!


XIII

Oh for the lessons learned by heart!
Ay, though the very birch's smart
Should mark those hours again;
I'd 'kiss the rod,' and be resign'd
Beneath the stroke, and even find
Some sugar in the cane!


XIV

The Arabian Nights rehearsed in bed!
The Fairy Tales in school-time read,
By stealth, 'twixt verb and noun!
The angel form that always walk'd
In all my dreams, and look'd and talk'd
Exactly like Miss Brown!


XV

The omne bene—Christmas come!
The prize of merit, won for home—
Merit had prizes then!
But now I write for days and days,
For fame—a deal of empty praise,
Without the silver pen!


XVI

Then 'home, sweet home!' the crowded coach—
The joyous shout—the loud approach—
The winding horns like rams'!
The meeting sweet that made me thrill,
The sweetmeats, almost sweeter still,
No 'satis' to the 'jams'!—


XVII

When that I was a tiny boy
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind!
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind!
 
Thomas Hood
   
 

   
   
 

  34.     

Birthday Verses

Good morrow to the golden morning,
Good morrow to the world's delight—
I've come to bless thy life's beginning,
Since it makes my own so bright!
I have brought no roses, sweetest,
I could find no flowers, dear,—
It was when all sweets were over
Thou wert born to bless the year.
But I've brought thee jewels, dearest,
In thy bonny locks to shine,—
And if love shows in their glances,
They have learn'd that look of mine!
 
Thomas Hood
   
 

   
   
 

  35.     

Let Us Make A Leap, My Dear

Let us make a leap, my dear,
In our love, of many a year,
And date it very far away,
On a bright clear summer day,
When the heart was like a sun
To itself, and falsehood none;
And the rosy lips a part
Of the very loving heart,
And the shining of the eye
But a sign to know it by;—
When my faults were all forgiven,
And my life deserved of Heaven.
Dearest, let us reckon so,
And love for all that long ago;
Each absence count a year complete,
And keep a birthday when we meet.
 
Thomas Hood
   
 

   
   
 

  36.     

The Departure of Summer

Summer is gone on swallows' wings,
And Earth has buried all her flowers:
No more the lark,—the linnet—sings,
But Silence sits in faded bowers.
There is a shadow on the plain
Of Winter ere he comes again,—
There is in woods a solemn sound
Of hollow warnings whisper'd round,
As Echo in her deep recess
For once had turn'd a prophetess.
Shuddering Autumn stops to list,
And breathes his fear in sudden sighs,
With clouded face, and hazel eyes
That quench themselves, and hide in mist.
Yes, Summer's gone like pageant bright;
Its glorious days of golden light
Are gone—the mimic suns that quiver,
Then melt in Time's dark-flowing river.
Gone the sweetly-scented breeze
That spoke in music to the trees;
Gone—for damp and chilly breath,
As if fresh blown o'er marble seas,
Or newly from the lungs of Death.
Gone its virgin roses' blushes,
Warm as when Aurora rushes
Freshly from the God's embrace,
With all her shame upon her face.
Old Time hath laid them in the mould;
Sure he is blind as well as old,
Whose hand relentless never spares
Young cheeks so beauty-bright as theirs!
Gone are the flame-eyed lovers now
From where so blushing-blest they tarried
Under the hawthorn's blossom-bough,
Gone; for Day and Night are married.
All the light of love is fled:—
Alas! that negro breasts should hide
The lips that were so rosy red,
At morning and at even-tide!
Delightful Summer! then adieu
Till thou shalt visit us anew:
But who without regretful sigh
Can say, adieu, and see thee fly?
Not he that e'er hath felt thy pow'r.
His joy expanding like a flow'r,
That cometh after rain and snow,
Looks up at heaven, and learns to glow:—
Not he that fled from Babel-strife
To the green sabbath-land of life,
To dodge dull Care 'mid clustered trees,
And cool his forehead in the breeze,—
Whose spirit, weary-worn perchance,
Shook from its wings a weight of grief,
And perch'd upon an aspen leaf,
For every breath to make it dance.
Farewell!—on wings of sombre stain,
That blacken in the last blue skies,
Thou fly'st; but thou wilt come again
On the gay wings of butterflies.
Spring at thy approach will sprout
Her new Corinthian beauties out,
Leaf-woven homes, where twitter-words
Will grow to songs, and eggs to birds;
Ambitious buds shall swell to flowers,
And April smiles to sunny hours,
Bright days shall be, and gentle nights
Full of soft breath and echo-lights,
As if the god of sun-time kept
His eyes half-open while he slept.
Roses shall be where roses were,
Not shadows, but reality;
As if they never perished there,
But slept in immortality:
Nature shall thrill with new delight,
And Time's relumined river run
Warm as young blood, and dazzling bright,
As if its source were in the sun!
But say, hath Winter then no charms?
Is there no joy, no gladness warms
His aged heart? no happy wiles
To cheat the hoary one to smiles?
Onward he comes—the cruel North
Pours his furious whirlwind forth
Before him—and we breathe the breath
Of famish'd bears that howl to death.
Onward he comes from the rocks that blanch
O'er solid streams that never flow:
His tears all ice, his locks all snow,
Just crept from some huge avalanche—
A thing half-breathing and half-warm,
As if one spark began to glow
Within some statue's marble form,
Or pilgrim stiffened in the storm.
Oh! will not Mirth's light arrows fail
To pierce that frozen coat of mail?
Oh! will not joy but strive in vain
To light up those glazed eyes again?
No! take him in, and blaze the oak,
And pour the wine, and warm the ale;
His sides shall shake to many a joke,
His tongue shall thaw in many a tale,
His eyes grow bright, his heart be gay,
And even his palsy charm'd away.
What heeds he then the boisterous shout
Of angry winds that scowl without,
Like shrewish wives at tavern door?
What heeds he then the wild uproar
Of billows bursting on the shore?
In dashing waves, in howling breeze,
There is a music that can charm him;
When safe, and sheltered, and at ease,
He hears the storm that cannot harm him.
But hark! those shouts! that sudden din
Of little hearts that laugh within.
Oh! take him where the youngsters play,
And he will grow as young as they!
They come! they come! each blue-eyed Sport,
The Twelfth-Night King and all his court—
'Tis Mirth fresh crown'd with misletoe!
Music with her merry fiddles,
Joy 'on light fantastic toe,'
Wit with all his jests and riddles,
Singing and dancing as they go.
And Love, young Love, among the rest,
A welcome—nor unbidden guest.
But still for Summer dost thou grieve?
Then read our Poets—they shall weave
A garden of green fancies still,
Where thy wish may rove at will.
They have kept for after-treats
The essences of summer sweets,
And echoes of its songs that wind
In endless music through the mind:
They have stamp'd in visible traces
The 'thoughts that breathe,' in words that shine—
The flights of soul in sunny places—
To greet and company with thine.
These shall wing thee on to flow'rs—
The past or future, that shall seem
All the brighter in thy dream
For blowing in such desert hours.
The summer never shines so bright
As thought-of in a winter's night;
And the sweetest loveliest rose
Is in the bud before it blows;
The dear one of the lover's heart
Is painted to his longing eyes,
In charms she ne'er can realize—
But when she turns again to part.
Dream thou then, and bind thy brow
With wreath of fancy roses now,
And drink of Summer in the cup
Where the Muse hath mix'd it up;
The 'dance, and song, and sun-burnt mirth,'
With the warm nectar of the earth:
Drink! 'twill glow in every vein,
And thou shalt dream the winter through:
Then waken to the sun again,
And find thy Summer Vision true!
 
Thomas Hood
   
 
 
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Poems By Poet Thomas Hood