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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson


Susannah


    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 smild,
When she was Mirths adopted child,
   And Iwas young.

I see the cot with spreading eaves
Embosomd bright in summer leaves,
   As heretofore:
The gables quaint, the pansy bed,
Old Robin traind the roses red
   About the door.

A seat did most blithe Susan please,
Beneath two shady elder trees,
   Of rustic make:
Old Robins handiwork again,
He dearly lovd those elders twain
   For Susans 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 smild,
   He shook his head.

Perchance the old man harbourd 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 linkd with mirth.

* * * * *

And times are changd,how changd that scene,
For mark old Robins alterd mien,
   And feeble tread.
His toil has ceased to be his pride,
At Susans 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-lovd elder trees
   Throw shadows there.

The well-rememberd 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


Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. My Life Is A
  2. My Firstborn
  3. The Old Clerk
  4. The Pilgrims of Pall Mall
  5. St Georges, Hanover Square


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