Archive for Thomas Hood

Silence

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on May 7, 2014 by telescoper

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave–under the deep, deep, sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hushed–no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.

by Thomas Hood (1799-1845).

 

No!

Posted in Poetry with tags , , on November 22, 2012 by telescoper

No sun–no moon!
No morn–no noon!
No dawn–no dusk–no proper time of day–
No sky–no earthly view–
No distance looking blue–
No road–no street–no “t’other side this way”–
No end to any Row–
No indications where the Crescents go–
No top to any steeple–
No recognitions of familiar people–
No courtesies for showing ’em–
No knowing ’em!
No traveling at all–no locomotion–
No inkling of the way–no notion–
“No go” by land or ocean–
No mail–no post–
No news from any foreign coast–
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility–
No company–no nobility–
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member–
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds–
November

by Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

Autumn

Posted in Poetry with tags , on November 16, 2010 by telescoper

Walking to work through the cold fog of a Cardiff November morning, a vague recollection of this poem popped into my head from somwhere or other only to disappear when I made it into the office. It was foggy again on the way home, so I remembered the half-memory I had earlier on. I had a look around and found the poem that had been in and out of my head.

An autumn melancholy seems to have taken grip of many folk in the department, probably because it seems like there’s long dark tunnel until Christmas, never mind next Spring. I have to say I rather like the autumn, actually…

I SAW old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;–
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Where are the songs of Summer?–With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the south,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?–Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
Lest owls should prey
Undazzled at noonday,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.

Where are the blooms of Summer?–In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatch’d from her flow’rs
To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer,–the green prime,–
The many, many leaves all twinkling?–Three
On the moss’d elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling,–and one upon the old oak-tree!
Where is the Dryad’s immortality?–
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
In the smooth holly’s green eternity.

The squirrel gloats on his accomplish’d hoard,
The ants have brimm’d their garners with ripe grain,
And honey bees have stored
The sweets of Summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have wing’d across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
Alone, alone,
Upon a mossy stone,
She sits and reckons up the dead and gone
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the wither’d world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drowned past
In the hush’d mind’s mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.

O go and sit with her, and be o’ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care;–
There is enough of wither’d everywhere
To make her bower,–and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, whose doom
Is Beauty’s,–she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light:
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear,–
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!

by Thomas Hood (1799-1845)


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