Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Revellers


Ring, joyous chords!-ring out again!
A swifter still, and a wilder strain!
They are here-the fair face and the careless heart,
And stars shall wane ere the mirthful part.
-But I met a dimly mournful glance,
In a sudden turn of the flying dance;
I heard the tone of a heavy sigh,
In a pause of the thrilling melody!
And it is not well that woe should breathe
On the bright spring-flowers of the festal wreath!
-Ye that to thought or to grief belong,
Leave, leave the hall of song!

Ring, joyous chords!-but who art thou
With the shadowy locks o'er thy pale young brow,
And the world of dreamy gloom that lies
In the misty depths of thy soft dark eyes?
-Thou hast lov'd, fair girl! thou hast lov'd too well!
Thou art mourning now o'er a broken spell;
Thou hast pour'd thy heart's rich treasures forth,
And art unrepaid for their priceless worth!
Mourn on!-yet come thou not here the while,
It is but a pain to see thee smile!
There is not a tone in our songs for thee-
-Home with thy sorrows flee!

Ring, joyous chords!-ring out again!
-But what dost thou with the Revel's train?
A silvery voice through the soft air floats,
But thou hast no part in the gladdening notes;
There are bright young faces that pass thee by,
But they fix no glance of thy wandering eye!
Away! there's a void in thy yearning breast,
Thou weary man! wilt thou here find rest?
Away! for thy thoughts from the scene have fled,
And the love of thy spirit is with the dead!
Thou art but more lone midst the sounds of mirth-
-Back to thy silent hearth!

Ring, joyous chords!-ring forth again!
A swifter still, and a wilder strain!
-But thou , though a reckless mien be thine,
And thy cup be crown'd with the foaming wine,
By the fitful bursts of thy laughter loud,
By thine eye's quick flash through its troubled cloud,
I know thee!-it is but the wakeful fear
Of a haunted bosom that brings thee here!
I know thee!-thou fearest the solemn night,
With her piercing stars and her deep wind's might!
There's a tone in her voice which thou fain wouldst shun,
For it asks what the secret soul hath done!
And thou-there's a dark weight on thine-away!
-Back to thy home and pray!

Ring, joyous chords!-ring out again!
A swifter still, and a wilder strain!
And bring fresh wreaths!-we will banish all
Save the free in heart from our festive hall.
On through the maze of the fleet dance, on!
-But where are the young and the lovely?-gone!
Where are the brows with the red rose crown'd,
And the floating forms with the bright zone bound?
And the waving locks and the flying feet,
That still should be where the mirthful meet!
-They are gone-they are fled-they are parted all-
-Alas! the forsaken hall!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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