Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THALIA, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH



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THALIA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I say it under the rose
Last Line: Down-town, look in to-morrow!
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Death; Dead, The


A MIDDLE-AGED LYRICAL POET IS SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING LEAVE
OF THE MUSE OF COMEDY

I SAY it under the rose --
Oh, thanks! -- yes, under the laurel,
We part lovers, not foes;
We are not going to quarrel.

We have too long been friends
On foot and in gilded coaches,
Now that the whole thing ends,
To spoil our kiss with reproaches.

I leave you; my soul is wrung;
I pause, look back from the portal --
Ah, I no more am young,
And you, child, you are immortal!

Mine is the glacier's way,
Yours is the blossom's weather --
When were December and May
Known to be happy together?

Before my kisses grow tame,
Before my moodiness grieve you,
While yet my heart is flame,
And I all lover, I leave you.

So, in the coming time,
When you count the rich years over,
Think of me in my prime,
And not as a white-haired lover,

Fretful, pierced with regret,
The wraith of a dead Desire,
Thrumming a cracked spinet
By a slowly dying fire.

When, at last, I am cold --
Years hence, if the gods so will it --
Say, "He was true as gold,"
And wear a rose in your fillet!

Others, tender as I,
Will come and sue for caresses,
Woo you, win you, and die --
Mind you, a rose in your tresses!

Some Melpomene woo,
Some hold Clio the nearest;
You, sweet Comedy, -- you
Were ever sweetest and dearest!

Nay, it is time to go.
When writing your tragic sister
Say to that child of woe
How sorry I was I missed her.

Really, I cannot stay,
Though "parting is such sweet sorrow"...
Perhaps I will, on my way
Down-town, look in to-morrow!







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