Lines On Returning a Picture (Written for a Friend)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Drawing of an 1879 Dress

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NOTE:

It seems that my great-grandfather had a series of failed relationships before he married.  At least that is the impression his published poems give me.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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Fair maid, once loved and still esteemed

With a regard time cannot move,

I send you back what I once deemed

My tenderest trust, save but thy love.

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‘Tis but a picture; why so dear,

So precious to my heart has been it?

‘Tis but a shadow fleet as air

What is there so endearing in it?

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The idle tongue may thus inquire,

And how such blisses were begot,

Those joys tho’ that it did inspire

Alone can answer–I can not.

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When miles on miles have stretched between

Thyself and me; when lone and drear,

This speechless image oft’ has been

A silent minister of cheer.

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It has recalled with something more

Than fancy’s power when bending o’er

It, that thy spirit to was there.

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My eyes again thine seemed to meet,

And thine seemed still with love to blaze,

And thy lips looked still no less sweet

Than tasted they in bygone days.

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But why say more?  All beauty dies,

‘Tis fair, yet so the rainbow’s hue,

It fades, its glorious beauty flies,

And so will fade the picture too.

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But Sol, whose golden tresses twine

Around the pearly drops of rain,

And paint upon the cloud the sign

That storms their fury will retrain;

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Tho’ we forget his tinted rays

And mind his glorious wonders not,

Creation dies without his blaze,

And he shall never be forgot.

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So tho’ the picture fade away,

As it must do as years shall wear,

Yet, on my memory thou wilt stay,

Whose beauty is reflected there.

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Say, do I ask too much of thee,

As down life’s path we severed stray,

That thou wilt sometimes think of me?

If so, forget me then, I pray.

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If Heaven decrees we’ll meet no more,

I’ll gladly say: “Thy will be done.”

To see thee would but kindle o’er

A flame not yet entirely gone.

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But if we should, our hearts may ache,

Our minds dwell on the past with pain,

Yet let the lips no mention make

Of bliss too sweet to know again.

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Some unknown hand,–benign or dire,–

Thee from my mind and heart may take,

Yet fonder hope; that friendship’s fire

From love’s cold ashes might awake.

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The cloud that dims the azure skies

Is scattered oft by it its own breath,

And beauties from decay arise,

And life is but the child of death,

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Good-bye!  the word with pain is fraught,

Its heart boils o’er my brimming eye,

‘Twas not I only tho’ that wrought

The cureless wound–good-bye, good-bye.

JOHN DODSON TAYLOR, SR.

Posted May 4, 2012 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems, Love 1800s

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