Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TWENTY GOLDEN YEARS AGO, by JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN



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TWENTY GOLDEN YEARS AGO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O, the rain, the weary, dreary rain
Last Line: Twenty golden years ago!
Subject(s): Disappointment; Holidays; New Year; Past; Time


O, the rain, the weary, dreary rain,
How it plashes on the window-sill!
Night, I guess too, must be on the wane,
Strass and Gass around are grown so still.
Here I sit, with coffee in my cup --
Ah! 'twas rarely I beheld it flow
In the taverns where I loved to sup
Twenty golden years ago!

Twenty years ago, alas! -- but stay,
On my life, 'tis half-past twelve o'clock!
After all, the hours do slip away --
Come, here goes to burn another block!
For the night, or morn, is wet and cold,
And my fire is dwindling rather low: --
I had fire enough, when young and bold,
Twenty golden years ago!

Dear! I don't feel well at all, somehow:
Few in Weimar dream how bad I am;
Floods of tears grow common with me now,
High-Dutch floods, that Reason cannot dam.
Doctors think I'll neither live nor thrive
If I mope at home so -- I don't know --
Am I living now? I was alive
Twenty golden years ago!

Wifeless, friendless, flagonless, alone,
Not quite bookless, though, unless I chuse,
Left with nought to do, except the Muse --
O! this, this is hard for me to bear,
Me, who whilome lived so much en haut,
Me, who broke all hearts like chinaware
Twenty golden years ago!

Perhaps, 'tis better: -- Time's defacing waves
Long have quenched the radiance of my brow --
They who curse me nightly from their graves
Scarce could love me where they living now;
But my loneliness hath darker ills --
Such dun-duns as Conscience, Thought and Co.,
Awful Gorgons! worse than tailors' bills
Twenty golden years ago!

Did I paint a fifth of what I feel,
O, how plaintive you would ween I was!
But I won't, albeit I have a deal
More to wail about than Kerner has!
Kerner's tears are wept for withered flowers,
Mine for withered hopes; my Scroll of Woe
Dates, alas! from Youth's deserted bowers,
Twenty golden years ago!

Yet my Deutschland's bardlings flourish long!
Me, I tweak no beak among them; -- hawks,
Must not pounce on hawks; besides, in song
I could beat all of them by chalks,
Though you find me, as I near my goal,
Sentimentalizing like Rousseau,
Oh! I had a grand Byronian soul
Twenty golden years ago!

Tick-tick, tick-tick! -- Not a sound save Time's,
And the windgust, as it drives the rain --
Tortured torturer of reluctant rhymes,
Go to bed, and rest thine aching brain!
Sleep! -- no more the dupe of hopes or schemes;
Soon thou sleepest where the thistles blow --
Curious anticlimax to thy dreams
Twenty golden years ago!





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