Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY AFTER-DINNER CLOUD, by HENRY SAMBROOKE LEIGH

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MY AFTER-DINNER CLOUD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Some sombre evening, when I sit
Last Line: To blow my after-dinner cloud?
Subject(s): Smoking; Tobacco; Pipes; Cigars; Cigarettes

Some sombre evening, when I sit
And feed in solitude at home,
Perchance an ultra-bilious fit
Paints all the world an orange chrome.
When Fear, and Care, and grim Despair
Flock round me in a ghostly crowd,
One charm dispels them all in air:—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

'Tis melancholy to devour
The gentle chop in loneliness;
I look on six—my prandial hour—
With dread not easy to express.
And yet, for every penance done,
Due compensation seems allow'd,
My penance o'er, its price is won:—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

My clay is not a Henry Clay—
I like it better, on the whole;
And when I fill it, I can say
I drown my sorrows in the bowl.
For most I love my lowly pipe
When weary, sad, and leaden-brow'd:
At such a time behold me ripe
To blow my after-dinner cloud.

As gracefully the smoke ascends
In columns from the weed beneath,
My friendly wizard, Fancy lends
A vivid shape to every wreath.
Strange memories of life or death,
Up from the cradle to the shroud,
Come forth as, with enchanter's breath,
I blow my after-dinner cloud.

What wonder if it stills my care
To quit the present for the past;
And summon back the things that were,
Which only thus in vapour last?
What wonder if I envy not
The rich, the giddy, and the proud,
Contented in this quiet spot
To blow my after-dinner cloud?

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