The Despondent Lover’s Lament   Leave a comment

Above:  Woman with Parrot (La Femme a la Perruche), by Philippe-Auguste Renoir

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It seems that my great-grandfather had some disappointments with love when he was a young man.   I arrive at this conclusion based on poems he chose to publish in 1883.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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As two floating specks of foam

Every hour we further sever–

Come back, O! my darling, come,

Little more we part forever.

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Was I right?  Oh! can it be

It was true what I foretold,

That when thou wast gone from me

Thou’d forget and soon grow cold?

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Then I did not hink it so

Then my tongue my heart belied,

But a voice now clear, tho’ low,

Says I rightly prophesied.

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What!  do all thy sacred vows

Now but idle babblings seem?

Has the love thou didst espouse

Proven but an empty dream?

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Have the joys that we have known

Clasped in mutual embrace,

From thy recollection flown

Giving kindred joys a place?

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When the rebel angels fell,

By Jehovah’s vengeance driven,

Hell had been a milder hell

Had they never been in heaven.

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Thus my hours of loneliness

Half so gloomy would not be

Had I power to suppress

Mem’ry of the past with thee.

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From their mem’ry I can borrow

Only grief, ’tis all it lends;

For it is a kindred sorrow

To that for departed friends.

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Ah! how sweet were they, the shadow

Of what shall be real made;

But this truth stings like an adder:

They were shadows of a shade.

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Thus those hours, so sweetly gliding,

Shall be chains to ever bin’

Or shall be a gulf dividing,

Ever twixt my heart and thine.

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So it is–would ’twere not so–

Love transformed but loathing brings;

And the deepest hatreds flow

From Love’s purest, sweetest springs.

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Deadliest hate that e’er resided

In a heart of any grade,

Is of hearts that once confided,

And, confiding, were betrayed.

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Oh! my darling, would they have me

Ever thus from thee to go?

Then don’t take the heart thou gave me,

Or it will, it must, be so.

JOHN DODSON TAYLOR, SR.

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