Lewis Carroll

(27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898 / Cheshire)

A Valentine

Poem by Lewis Carroll

Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see
him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.

And cannot pleasures, while they last,
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering and aghast,
With anguish smarting?
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?

And must I then, at Friendship's call,
Calmly resign the little all
(Trifling, I grant, it is and small)
I have of gladness,
And lend my being to the thrall
Of gloom and sadness?

And think you that I should be dumb,
And full DOLORUM OMNIUM,
Excepting when YOU choose to come
And share my dinner?
At other times be sour and glum
And daily thinner?

Must he then only live to weep,
Who'd prove his friendship true and deep
By day a lonely shadow creep,
At night-time languish,
Oft raising in his broken sleep
The moan of anguish?

The lover, if for certain days
His fair one be denied his gaze,
Sinks not in grief and wild amaze,
But, wiser wooer,
He spends the time in writing lays,
And posts them to her.

And if the verse flow free and fast,
Till even the poet is aghast,
A touching Valentine at last
The post shall carry,
When thirteen days are gone and past
Of February.

Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet,
In desert waste or crowded street,
Perhaps before this week shall fleet,
Perhaps to-morrow.
I trust to find YOUR heart the seat
Of wasting sorrow.


Comments about A Valentine by Lewis Carroll

  • Practicing PoetessPracticing Poetess (2/7/2019 11:22:00 PM)

    5th Stanza: The lover, if for certain days his fair one be denied his gaze
    Sinks not in grief and wild amaze
    But, wiser wooer
    He spends the time in writing lays
    And posts them to her!
    A 'lay' is defined as a short narrative or other poem, esp. one to be sung.
    A much wiser course of action than pouting when your friend does not appear!(Report)Reply

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (2/7/2019 10:53:00 PM)

    And can not pleasures, while they last
    Be actual unless, when t past.
    Wonderfully envisioned poem. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (2/7/2019 1:52:00 PM)

    A lonely shadow! ! ! ! ! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (2/7/2019 9:28:00 AM)

    i'm glad to be introduced this poem by carroll. like good humorous poetry it rhymes well, has regular meter, features tasty word choices, and concludes with a barbed last stanza. -gk(Report)Reply

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  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair(DPN) (2/7/2019 5:49:00 AM)

    I trust to find YOUR heart the seat Good poem
    Of wasting sorrow.(Report)Reply

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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (2/7/2019 5:33:00 AM)

    Glad in meeting friend and not missing when gone away in friendship it is all common occurrence! But on Valentine's day it is entirely different with such friendship in the world of Lewis Carroll!(Report)Reply

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  • Paul Gerard Reed (2/7/2019 5:20:00 AM)

    A measured view on love, obviously not head over heels(Report)Reply

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (2/7/2019 5:15:00 AM)

    So it seems this is a sincere friendship, but as I read this for the second time, there is hidden a tiniest tune of irony, as we can read in the last three lines of the final stanza: Perhaps to-morrow.
    I trust to find YOUR heart the seat
    Of wasting sorrow......................CONGRATULATIONS to his family for being chosen as the Classic Poem Of The Day.(Report)Reply

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  • Tom Allport (2/7/2019 4:16:00 AM)

    A lovely sincere friendship write from a man who was so very bright! ....(Report)Reply

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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (2/7/2019 3:58:00 AM)

    And if the verse flow free and fast,
    Till even the poet is aghast,
    A touching Valentine at last
    The post shall carry, a very fine poem..(Report)Reply

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  • Gajanan MishraGajanan Mishra (2/7/2019 3:07:00 AM)

    Friendship, true and deep, great write(Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (2/7/2019 2:15:00 AM)

    I trust to find YOUR heart// beautiful valentine poem

    ///
    O' valentine
    you've brought me here
    showed me these world
    said- universe' all are yours

    Yeah, I've smiled, nodded, acknowledged
    Because; I trusted you and knew that
    'all are yours and you are only mine'(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • AndyB (2/7/2019 1:43:00 AM)

    True friendship exists even when apart and meeting is as if never parted great analysis of friendship.(Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (2/13/2016 2:48:00 PM)

    A good discussion about friendship- -I agree with him that friendship doesn't need daily nourishment. A well-established friendship has our back and we can share our good times and victories as well as our sorrows and defeat. But friendship needs both the nourishment of laughter as well as tears.(Report)Reply

    23 person liked.
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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (2/13/2016 8:27:00 AM)

    A great poem on valentine and likes.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Uzefa Rashida M.aUzefa Rashida M.a (2/13/2016 4:25:00 AM)

    parted friends meeting and parting away(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (2/13/2016 4:11:00 AM)

    And if the verse flow free and fast
    Till even the poet is aghast
    A touching Valentine at last.
    The poem flows smoothly like a river in plains. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/13/2016 1:58:00 AM)

    Free flow of emotions in your poem, Nicely written,(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (2/13/2016 1:54:00 AM)

    This is the best poem of Lewis Carroll that I read. May be should read more.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Wes VoglerWes Vogler (2/13/2016 1:09:00 AM)

    Enough to make the investigation of mister Carroll's verses a must(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: valentine, farewell, friend, trust, grief, lonely, sorrow, sleep, time, night, smart



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002