Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FORLORN HOPE, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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THE FORLORN HOPE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How long, vain hope, dost thou my joys suspend?
Last Line: By scorning hope, ne'er to rely on thee.
Subject(s): Hope; Optimism


How long, vain Hope, dost thou my joys suspend?
Say! must my expectation know no end?
Thou wast more kind unto the wand'ring Greek
Who did ten years his wife and country seek:
Ten lazy winters in my glass are run,
Yet my thought's travail seems but new begun.

Smooth quicksand which the easy world beguiles,
Thou shalt not bury me in thy false smiles.
They that in hunting shadows pleasure take,
May benefit of thy illusion make.
Since thou hast banish'd me from my content
I here pronounce thy final banishment.

Farewell, thou dream of nothing! thou mere voice!
Get thee to fools that can feed fat with noise:
Bid wretches mark'd for death look for reprieve,
Or men broke on the wheel persuade to live.
Henceforth my comfort and best hope shall be,
By scorning Hope, ne'er to rely on thee.





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