William Ellery Channing

(1818-1901 / the United States)

Memory - Poem by William Ellery Channing

I hear thy solemn anthem fall,
O richest song, upon my ear,
That clothes thee in thy golden pall,
As this wide sun flows on the mere.

Away - 'tis Autumn in the land,
Though Summer decks the green pine's bough,
Its spires are plucked by thy white hand, -
I see thee standing by me now.

I dress thee in the withered leaves,
Like forests when their day is done,
I bear thee as the wain its sheaves,
Which crisply rustle in the sun.

A thousand flowers enchant the gale
With perfume sweet as love's first kiss,
And odors in the landscape sail,
And charm the sense with sudden bliss.

But Fate, who metes a different way
To me, since I was falsely sold,
Hath gray-haired turned the sunny day,
Bent its high form, and made it old.

Come Time, come Death, and blot my doom
With feller woes, if they be thine;
Clang back thy gates, sepulchral tomb,
And match thy barrenness with mine.

O moaning wind along the shore,
How faint thy sobbing accents come!
Strike on my heart with maddest roar,
Thou meet'st no discord in this home.

Sear, blistering sun, these temple veins;
Blind, icy moon, these coldest eyes;
And drench me through, ye winter rains, -
Swell, if ye can, my miseries.

Those dark deep orbs are meeting mine,
That white hand presses on my brow,
That soft, sweet smile I know, 'tis thine, -
I see thee standing by me now.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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