Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE UNFORGIVEN, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH



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THE UNFORGIVEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Near my bed, there, hangs the picture jewels could
Last Line: Playing on a lute of amber, by the margin of a sea.
Subject(s): Sirens (Mythology)


NEAR my bed, there, hangs the picture jewels could not buy from me:
'T is a Siren, a brown Siren, in her sea-weed drapery,
Playing on a lute of amber, by the margin of a sea.

In the east, the rose of morning seems as if 't would blossom soon,
But it never, never blossoms, in this picture; and the moon
Never ceases to be crescent, and the June is always June.

And the heavy-branched banana never yields its creamy fruit;
In the citron-trees are nightingales forever stricken mute;
And the Siren sits, her fingers on the pulses of the lute.

In the hushes of the midnight, when the heliotropes grow strong
With the dampness, I hear music -- hear a quiet, plaintive song --
A most sad, melodious utterance, as of some immortal wrong --

Like the pleading, oft repeated, of a Soul that pleads in vain,
Of a damned Soul repentant, that would fain be pure again!--
And I lie awake and listen to the music of her pain.

And whence comes this mournful music? -- whence, unless it
chance to be
From the Siren, the brown Siren, in her sea-weed drapery,
Playing on a lute of amber, by the margin of a sea.





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