Boat Glee.

A poem by Thomas Moore

The song that lightens the languid way,
When brows are glowing,
And faint with rowing,
Is like the spell of Hope's airy lay,
To whose sound thro' life we stray;
The beams that flash on the oar awhile,
As we row along thro' the waves so clear,
Illume its spray, like the fleeting smile
That shines o'er sorrow's tear.

Nothing is lost on him who sees
With an eye that feeling gave;--
For him there's a story in every breeze,
And a picture in every wave.
Then sing to lighten the languid way;
When brows are glowing,
And faint with rowing,
'Tis like the spell of Hope's airy lay,
To whose sound thro' life we stray.

* * * * *

'Tis sweet to behold when the billows are sleeping,
Some gay-colored bark moving gracefully by;
No damp on her deck but the eventide's weeping,
No breath in her sails but the summer wind's sigh.
Yet who would not turn with a fonder emotion,
To gaze on the life-boat, tho' rugged and worn.
Which often hath wafted o'er hills of the ocean
The lost light of hope to the seaman forlorn!

Oh! grant that of those who in life's sunny slumber
Around us like summer-barks idly have played,
When storms are abroad we may find in the number
One friend, like the life-boat, to fly to our aid.

* * * * *

When Lelia touched the lute,
Not then alone 'twas felt,
But when the sounds were mute,
In memory still they dwelt.
Sweet lute! in nightly slumbers
Still we heard thy morning numbers.

Ah, how could she who stole
Such breath from simple wire,
Be led, in pride of soul,
To string with gold her lyre?
Sweet lute! thy chords she breaketh;
Golden now the strings she waketh!

But where are all the tales
Her lute so sweetly told?
In lofty themes she fails,
And soft ones suit not gold.
Rich lute! we see thee glisten,
But, alas! no more we listen!

* * * * *

Young Love lived once in a humble shed,
Where roses breathing
And woodbines wreathing
Around the lattice their tendrils spread,
As wild and sweet as the life he led.
His garden flourisht,
For young Hope nourisht.
The infant buds with beams and showers;
But lips, tho' blooming, must still be fed,
And not even Love can live on flowers.

Alas! that Poverty's evil eye
Should e'er come hither,
Such sweets to wither!
The flowers laid down their heads to die,
And Hope fell sick as the witch drew nigh.
She came one morning.
Ere Love had warning,
And raised the latch, where the young god lay;
"Oh ho!" said Love--"is it you? good-by;"
So he oped the window and flew away!

* * * * *

Spirit of Joy, thy altar lies
In youthful hearts that hope like mine;
And 'tis the light of laughing eyes
That leads us to thy fairy shrine.

There if we find the sigh, the tear,
They are not those to sorrow known;
But breathe so soft, and drop so clear,
That bliss may claim them for her own.
Then give me, give me, while I weep,
The sanguine hope that brightens woe,
And teaches even our tears to keep
The tinge of pleasure as they flow.

The child who sees the dew of night
Upon the spangled hedge at morn,
Attempts to catch the drops of light,
But wounds his finger with the thorn.
Thus oft the brightest joys we seek,
Are lost when touched, and turned to pain;
The flush they kindle leaves the cheek,
The tears they waken long remain.
But give me, give me, etc.

* * * * *

To sigh, yet feel no pain.
To weep, yet scarce know why;
To sport an hour with Beauty's chain,
Then throw it idly by;
To kneel at many a shrine,
Yet lay the heart on none;
To think all other charms divine,
But those we just have won;
This is love, careless love,
Such as kindleth hearts that rove.

To keep one sacred flame,
Thro' life unchilled, unmoved,
To love in wintry age the same
As first in youth we loved;
To feel that we adore
To such refined excess.
That tho' the heart would break with more,
We could not live with less;
This is love, faithful love,
Such as saints might feel above.

* * * * *

Dear aunt, in the olden time of love,
When women like slaves were spurned,
A maid gave her heart, as she would her glove,
To be teased by a fop, and returned!
But women grow wiser as men improve.
And, tho' beaux, like monkeys, amuse us,
Oh! think not we'd give such a delicate gem
As the heart to be played with or sullied by them;
No, dearest aunt, excuse us.

We may know by the head on Cupid's seal
What impression the heart will take;
If shallow the head, oh! soon we feel
What a poor impression 'twill make!
Tho' plagued, Heaven knows! by the foolish zeal
Of the fondling fop who pursues me,
Oh, think not I'd follow their desperate rule,
Who get rid of the folly by wedding the fool;
No, dearest aunt! excuse me.

* * * * *

When Charles was deceived by the maid he loved,
We saw no cloud his brow o'er-casting,
But proudly he smiled as if gay and unmoved,
Tho' the wound in his heart was deep and lasting.
And oft at night when the tempest rolled
He sung as he paced the dark deck over--
"Blow, wind, blow! thou art not so cold
As the heart of a maid that deceives her lover."

Yet he lived with the happy and seemed to be gay,
Tho' the wound but sunk more deep for concealing;
And Fortune threw many a thorn in his way,
Which, true to one anguish, he trod without feeling!
And still by the frowning of Fate unsubdued
He sung as if sorrow had placed him above her--
"Frown, Fate, frown! thou art not so rude
As the heart of a maid that deceives her lover."

At length his career found a close in death,
The close he long wished to his cheerless roving,
For Victory shone on his latest breath,
And he died in a cause of his heart's approving.
But still he remembered his sorrow,--and still
He sung till the vision of life was over--
"Come, death, come! thou art not so chill
As the heart of a maid that deceives her lover."

* * * * *

When life looks lone and dreary,
What light can dispel the gloom?
When Time's swift wing grows weary,
What charm can refresh his plume?
'Tis woman whose sweetness beameth
O'er all that we feel or see;
And if man of heaven e'er dreameth,
'Tis when he thinks purely of thee,
O woman!

Let conquerors fight for glory,
Too dearly the meed they gain;
Let patriots live in story--
Too often they die in vain;
Give kingdoms to those who choose 'em,
This world can offer to me
No throne like Beauty's bosom,
No freedom like serving thee,
O woman!

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Boat Glee.' by Thomas Moore

comments powered by Disqus

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