Thomas Lovell Beddoes

(1803-1818 / England)

Ballad Of Human Life


WHEN we were girl and boy together,
We toss’d about the flowers
And wreath’d the blushing hours
Into a posy green and sweet.
I sought the youngest, best,
And never was at rest
Till I had laid them at thy fairy feet.
But the days of childhood they were fleet,
And the blooming sweet-briar-breath’d weather,
When we were boy and girl together.

Then we were lad and lass together,
And sought the kiss of night
Before we felt aright,
Sitting and singing soft and sweet.
The dearest thought of heart
With thee ’t was joy to part,
And the greater half was thine, as meet.
Still my eyelid’s dewy, my veins they beat
At the starry summer-evening weather,
When we were lad and lass together.

And we are man and wife together,
Although thy breast, once bold
With song, be clos’d and cold
Beneath flowers’ roots and birds’ light feet.
Yet sit I by thy tomb,
And dissipate the gloom
With songs of loving faith and sorrow sweet.
And fate and darkling grave kind dreams do cheat,
That, while fair life, young hope, despair and death are,
We ’re boy and girl, and lass and lad, and man and wife together.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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