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Poem by Charles Stuart Calverley


I know not why my soul is rack'd:
Why I ne'er smile as was my wont:
I only know that, as a fact,
I don't.
I used to roam o'er glen and glade
Buoyant and blithe as other folk:
And not unfrequently I made
A joke.

A minstrel's fire within me burn'd.
I'd sing, as one whose heart must break,
Lay upon lay: I nearly learn'd
To shake.
All day I sang; of love, of fame,
Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
Until the thing almost became
A bore.

I cannot sing the old songs now!
It is not that I deem then low;
'Tis that I can't remember how
They go.
I could not range the hills till high
Above me stood the summer moon:
And as to dancing, I could fly
As soon.

The sports, to which with boyish glee
I sprang erewhile, attract no more;
Although I am but sixty-three
Or four.
Nay, worse than that, I've seem'd of late
To shrink from happy boyhood -- boys
Have grown so noisy, and I hate
A noise.

They fright me, when the beech is green,
By swarming up its stem for eggs:
They drive their horrid hoops between
My legs: --
It's idle to repine, I know;
I'll tell you what I'll do instead:
I'll drink my arrowroot, and go
To bed. 

Charles Stuart Calverley

Charles Stuart Calverley's other poems:
  1. Ode to Tobacco
  2. A, B, C.
  3. Peace. A Study
  4. Lovers And A Reflection
  5. Visions

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