James Thomson

(11 September 1700 – 27 August 1748 / Ednam in Roxburghshire, Scotland)

An Elegy on Parting


It was a sad, ay 'twas a sad farewell,
I still afresh the pangs of parting feel;
Against my breast my heart impatient beat,
And in deep sighs bemoan'd its cruel fate;
Thus with the object of my love to part,
My life! my joy! 'twould rend a rocky heart.
Where'er I turn myself, where'er I go,
I meet the image of my lovely foe;
With witching charms the phantom still appears,
And with her wanton smiles insults my tears;
Still haunts the places where we used to walk,
And where with raptures oft I heard her talk:
Those scenes I now with deepest sorrow view,
And sighing bid to all delight adieu.
While I my head upon this turf recline,
Officious sun, in vain on me you shine;
In vain unto the smiling fields I hie;
In vain the flowery meads salute my eye;
In vain the cheerful birds and shepherds sing,
And with their carols make the valleys ring;
Yea, all the pleasure that the country yield
Can't me from sorrow for her absence shield;
With divine pleasure books which one inspire,
Yea, books themselves I do not now admire.
But hark! methinks some pitying power I hear,
This welcome message whisper in my ear:
‘Forget thy groundless griefs, dejected swain,
You and the nymph you love shall meet again;
No more your muse shall sing such mournful lays,
But bounteous heaven and your kind mistress praise.’

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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