Songs Without Sense

A poem by Francis Bret Harte

I. THE PERSONIFIED SENTIMENTAL

Affection’s charm no longer gilds
The idol of the shrine;
But cold Oblivion seeks to fill
Regret’s ambrosial wine.
Though Friendship’s offering buried lies
’Neath cold Aversion’s snow,
Regard and Faith will ever bloom
Perpetually below.

I see thee whirl in marble halls,
In Pleasure’s giddy train;
Remorse is never on that brow,
Nor Sorrow’s mark of pain.
Deceit has marked thee for her own;
Inconstancy the same;
And Ruin wildly sheds its gleam
Athwart thy path of shame.



II. THE HOMELY PATHETIC

The dews are heavy on my brow;
My breath comes hard and low;
Yet, mother dear, grant one request,
Before your boy must go.
Oh! lift me ere my spirit sinks,
And ere my senses fail,
Place me once more, O mother dear,
Astride the old fence-rail.

The old fence-rail, the old fence-rail!
How oft these youthful legs,
With Alice’ and Ben Bolt’s, were hung
Across those wooden pegs!
’Twas there the nauseating smoke
Of my first pipe arose:
O mother dear, these agonies
Are far less keen than those.

I know where lies the hazel dell,
Where simple Nellie sleeps;
I know the cot of Nettie Moore,
And where the willow weeps.
I know the brookside and the mill,
But all their pathos fails
Beside the days when once I sat
Astride the old fence-rails.



III. SWISS AIR

I’m a gay tra, la, la,
With my fal, lal, la, la,
And my bright
And my light
Tra, la, le. [Repeat.]

Then laugh, ha, ha, ha,
And ring, ting, ling, ling,
And sing fal, la, la,
La, la, le. [Repeat.]

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Songs Without Sense' by Francis Bret Harte

comments powered by Disqus

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