He puts the poem by, to say
His eyes are not themselves to-day!
A sudden glamour o'er his sight -
A something vague, indefinite -
An oft-recurring blur that blinds
The printed meaning of the lines,
And leaves the mind all dusk and dim
In swimming darkness - strange to him!
It is not childishness, I guess, -
Yet something of the tenderness
That used to wet his lashes when
A boy seems troubling him again; -
The old emotion, sweet and wild,
That drove him truant when a child,
That he might hide the tears that fell
Above the lesson - "Little Nell."
And so it is he puts aside
The poem he has vainly tried
To follow; and, as one who sighs
In failure, through a poor disguise
Of smiles, he dries his tears, to say
His eyes are not themselves to-day.