A Lament.

A poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

The dream is over,
The vision has flown;
Dead leaves are lying
Where roses have blown;
Wither'd and strown
Are the hopes I cherished,--
All hath perished
But grief alone.

My heart was a garden
Where fresh leaves grew
Flowers there were many,
And weeds a few;
Cold winds blew,
And the frosts came thither,
For flowers will wither,
And weeds renew!

Youth's bright palace
Is overthrown,
With its diamond sceptre
And golden throne;
As a time-worn stone
Its turrets are humbled,--
All hath crumbled
But grief alone!

Wither, oh, whither,
Have fled away
The dreams and hopes
Of my early day?
Ruined and gray
Are the towers I builded;
And the beams that gilded--
Ah! where are they?

Once this world
Was fresh and bright,
With its golden noon
And its starry night;
Glad and light,
By mountain and river,
Have I bless'd the Giver
With hushed delight.

These were the days
Of story and song,
When Hope had a meaning
And Faith was strong.
"Life will be long,
And lit with Love's gleamings;"
Such were my dreamings,
But, ah, how wrong!

Youth's illusions,
One by one,
Have passed like clouds
That the sun looked on.
While morning shone,
How purple their fringes!
How ashy their tinges
When that was gone!

Darkness that cometh
Ere morn has fled--
Boughs that wither
Ere fruits are shed--
Death bells instead
Of a bridal's pealings--
Such are my feelings,
Since Hope is dead!

Sad is the knowledge
That cometh with years--
Bitter the tree
That is watered with tears;
Truth appears,
With his wise predictions,
Then vanish the fictions
Of boyhood's years.

As fire-flies fade
When the nights are damp--
As meteors are quenched
In a stagnant swamp--
Thus Charlemagne's camp,
Where the Paladins rally,
And the Diamond Valley,
And Wonderful Lamp,

And all the wonders
Of Ganges and Nile,
And Haroun's rambles,
And Crusoe's isle,
And Princes who smile
On the Genii's daughters
'Neath the Orient waters
Full many a mile,

And all that the pen
Of Fancy can write
Must vanish
In manhood's misty light--
Squire and knight,
And damosels' glances,
Sunny romances
So pure and bright!

These have vanished,
And what remains?--
Life's budding garlands
Have turned to chains;
Its beams and rains
Feed but docks and thistles,
And sorrow whistles
O'er desert plains!

The dove will fly
From a ruined nest,
Love will not dwell
In a troubled breast;
The heart has no zest
To sweeten life's dolour--
If Love, the Consoler,
Be not its guest!

The dream is over,
The vision has flown;
Dead leaves are lying
Where roses have blown;
Wither'd and strown
Are the hopes I cherished,--
All hath perished
But grief alone!

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'A Lament.' by Denis Florence MacCarthy

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy