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Poem by Lewis Carroll


A Valentine


Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see
him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.

And cannot pleasures, while they last,
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering and aghast,
With anguish smarting?
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?

And must I then, at Friendship's call,
Calmly resign the little all
(Trifling, I grant, it is and small)
I have of gladness,
And lend my being to the thrall
Of gloom and sadness?

And think you that I should be dumb,
And full DOLORUM OMNIUM,
Excepting when YOU choose to come
And share my dinner?
At other times be sour and glum
And daily thinner?

Must he then only live to weep,
Who'd prove his friendship true and deep
By day a lonely shadow creep,
At night-time languish,
Oft raising in his broken sleep
The moan of anguish?

The lover, if for certain days
His fair one be denied his gaze,
Sinks not in grief and wild amaze,
But, wiser wooer,
He spends the time in writing lays,
And posts them to her.

And if the verse flow free and fast,
Till even the poet is aghast,
A touching Valentine at last
The post shall carry,
When thirteen days are gone and past
Of February.

Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet,
In desert waste or crowded street,
Perhaps before this week shall fleet,
Perhaps to-morrow.
I trust to find YOUR heart the seat
Of wasting sorrow. 



Lewis Carroll


Lewis Carroll's other poems:
  1. The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council
  2. The Wandering Burgess
  3. What Tottles Meant
  4. The Deserted Parks
  5. Theme with Variations


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Dinah Craik A Valentine ("YE are twa laddies unco gleg")
  • Edgar Poe A Valentine ("For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes")
  • Madison Cawein A Valentine ("My life is grown a witchcraft place")
  • Eugene Field A Valentine ("Your gran'ma, in her youth, was quite")
  • James Fields A Valentine ("She that is fair, though never vain or proud")
  • Henry Livingston A Valentine ("WELLCOME, wellcome, happy day")

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