Thomas Bailey Aldrich

(November 11, 1836 – March 19, 1907 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

Quatrains - Poem by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

MASKS

BLACK Tragedy lets slip her grim disguise
And shows you laughing lips and roguish eyes;
But when, unmasked, gay Comedy appears,
How wan her cheeks are, and what heavy tears!

MEMORIES

TWO things there are with Memory will abide,
Whatever else befall, while life flows by:
That soft cold hand-touch at the altar side;
The thrill that shook you at your child’s first cry.

CIRCUMSTANCE

LINKED to a clod, harassed, and sad
With sordid cares, she knew not life was sweet
Who should have moved in marble halls, and had
Kings and crown-princes at her feet.

ON READING ——

GREAT thoughts in crude, unshapely verse set forth
Lose half their preciousness, and ever must.
Unless the diamond with its own rich dust
Be cut and polished, it seems little worth.

QUITS

IF my best wines mislike thy taste,
And my best service win thy frown,
Then tarry not, I bid thee haste;
There ’s many another Inn in town.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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