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Henry Sambrooke Leigh (Генри Самбрук Ли)


My After-Dinner Cloud


Some sombre evening, when I sit
And feed in solitude at home,
Perchance an ultra-bilious fit
Paints all the world an orange chrome.

When Fear and Care and grim Despair
Flock round me in a ghostly crowd,
One charm dispels them all in air,—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

'Tis melancholy to devour
The gentle chop in loneliness.
I look on six—my prandial hour—
With dread not easy to express.

And yet for every penance done,
Due compensation seems allow'd.
My penance o'er, its price is won,—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

My clay is not a Henry Clay,—
I like it better on the whole;
And when I fill it, I can say,
I drown my sorrows in the bowl.

For most I love my lowly pipe
When weary, sad, and leaden-brow'd;
At such a time behold me ripe
To blow my after-dinner cloud.

As gracefully the smoke ascends
In columns from the weed beneath,
My friendly wizard, Fancy, lends
A vivid shape to every wreath.

Strange memories of life or death
Up from the cradle to the shroud,
Come forth as, with enchanter's breath,
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

What wonder if it stills my care
To quit the present for the past,
And summon back the things that were,
Which only thus in vapor last?

What wonder if I envy not
The rich, the giddy, and the proud,
Contented in this quiet spot
To blow my after-dinner cloud? 



Henry Sambrooke Leigh's other poems:
  1. Rhymes?
  2. A Scientific Drinking Song
  3. My Three Loves
  4. БлизнецыThe Twins


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