Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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First Line: The purple iris hangs his head
Last Line: Reels all away.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Nature


THE purple iris hangs his head
On his lean stalk, and so declines:
The spider spills his silver thread
Between the bells of columbines:
An altered light in flickering eves
Draws dews through these dim eyes of ours:
Death walks in yonder waning bowers,
And burns the blistering leaves.
Ah, well-a-day!
Blooms overblow:
Suns sink away:
Sweet things decay.

The drunken beetle, roused ere night,
Breaks blundering from the rotting rose,
Flits through blue spidery aconite,
And hums, and comes, and goes:
His thick, bewildered song receives
A drowsy sense of grief like ours:
He hums and hums among the bowers,
And bangs about the leaves.
Ah, well-a-day!
Hearts overflow:
Joy flits away:
Sweet things decay.

Her yellow stars the jasmin drops
In mildewed mosses one by one:
The hollyhocks fall off their tops:
The lotus-blooms ail white i' the sun:
The freckled foxglove faints and grieves:
The smooth-paced slumbrous slug devours
The gluey globes of gorgeous flowers,
And smears the glistering leaves!
Ah, well-a-day!
Life leaves us so.
Love dare not stay.
Sweet things decay.

From brazen sunflowers, orb and fringe,
The burning burnish dulls and dies:
Sad Autumn sets a sullen tinge
Upon the scornful peonies:
The dewy frog limps out, and heaves
A speckled lump in speckled bowers:
A reeking moisture, clings and lowers
The lips of lapping leaves.
Ah, well-a-day!
Ere the cock crow,
Life's charmed array
Reels all away.





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