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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson
“My sprightly neighbour, gone before To that unknown and silent shore! Shall we not meet as heretofore Some summer morning? When from thy cheerful eyes a ray Hath struck a bliss upon the day, A bliss that would not go away, A sweet forewarning?” C. Lamb. Susannah! still that name can raise The memory of ancient days, And hearts unwrung: When all too bright our future smil’d, When she was Mirth’s adopted child, And I—was young. I see the cot with spreading eaves Embosom’d bright in summer leaves, As heretofore: The gables quaint, the pansy bed,— Old Robin train’d the roses red About the door. A seat did most blithe Susan please, Beneath two shady elder trees, Of rustic make: Old Robin’s handiwork again, He dearly lov’d those elders twain For Susan’s sake. Her gleeful tones and laughter gay Lent sunshine to a gloomy day, And trouble fled: Yet when her mirth was passing wild, Though still the faithful Robin smil’d, He shook his head. Perchance the old man harbour’d fears That happiness is wed with tears On this poor earth: Or else, may be, his fancies were That youth and beauty are a snare If link’d with mirth. * * * * * And times are chang’d,—how chang’d that scene, For mark old Robin’s alter’d mien, And feeble tread. His toil has ceased to be his pride, At Susan’s name he turns aside, And shakes his head. And summer smiles, but summer spells Can never charm where sorrow dwells, Nor banish care. No fair young form the passer sees, And still the much-lov’d elder trees Throw shadows there. The well-remember’d seat is gone, And where it stood is set a stone, A simple square: The worlding gay, or man austere, May pass the name recorded here, But we will stay to shed a tear, And breathe a prayer.
Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
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