(John Kenyon)


THAMES swept along in summer pride,
  Sparkling beneath his verdant edge;
With frolic kiss, as half denied,
Light airs were glancing oer the tide,
  Or whispering in the secret sedge.

Cheerful the landscapes sunny green,
  Yet still, in pensive mood reclined,
Pondering of things to be, or been,
I shrank at many a visioned scene
  Of fear, before; of grief, behind.

The insect tribes, but newly born,
  Were flaunting in the awakening ray;
In me they woke no touch of scorn;
I saw them frail, but more to mourn
  The kindred doom of mans decay.

For here, of old, his booty won,
The Dane caroused in barbarous glee,
Or Roman veteran, toil-foredone,
Lay stretched beneath the westering sun,
  In dreams of pleasant Italy.

Or floating by, in gallant show,
Gay beauty glanced at monarchs jest,
Nor marked where, high above the prow,
Mid mirth and wine, and musics flow,
  Sat Change,a dark and threatening guest.

Their mirth is sped; their gravest theme
Sleeps with the things that cease to be;
Their longest life, a morning gleam;
A bubble bursting on the stream,
  Then swept to Times unfathomed sea.

Yes! all, beneath or change or chance,
And passing, like the passing river,
The wassail shout, the dreamers trance,
And monarchs jest, and beautys glance,
  Were human all, and gone forever!

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