Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FEAST OF LIFE, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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THE FEAST OF LIFE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Bid thee to my mystic feast
Last Line: But life in its reality!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Life

BID thee to my mystic feast,
Each one thou lovest is gather'd there;
Yet put thou on a mourning robe
And bind the cypress in thy hair.
The hall is vast, and cold, and drear;
The board with fairest flowers is spread;
Shadows of beauty flit around,
But beauty from which bloom has fled;

And music echoes from the walls,
But music with a dirgelike sound;
And pale and silent are the guests,
And every eye is on the ground.
Here, take this cup, though dark it seem,
And drink to human hopes and fears;
Tis from their native element,
The cup is fill'd -- it is of tears.

What, turn'st thou with averted brow?
Thou scornest this poor feast of mine;
And askest for a purple robe,
Light words, glad smiles, and sunny wine.
In vain -- the veil has left thine eyes,
Or such these would have seem'd to thee;
Before thee is the Feast of Life,
But life in its reality!

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