Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON MY OWN MINIATURE PICTURE, TAKEN AT TWO YEARS OF AGE, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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ON MY OWN MINIATURE PICTURE, TAKEN AT TWO YEARS OF AGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: And I was once like this! That glowing cheek
Last Line: Spirit of spenser! Was the wanderer wrong?
Subject(s): Life Change Events; Maturity; Nations; Portraits; Self; Youth


AND I was once like this! that glowing cheek
Was mine, those pleasure-sparkling eyes; that brow
Smooth as the level lake, when not a breeze
Dies o'er the sleeping surface! Twenty years
Have wrought strange alteration! Of the friends
Who once so dearly prized this miniature,
And loved it for its likeness, some are gone
To their last home; and some, estranged in heart,
Beholding me, with quick-averted glance
Pass on the other side. But still these hues
Remain unaltered, and these features wear
The look of infancy and innocence.
I search myself in vain, and find no trace
Of what I was: those lightly-arching lines
Dark and o'erhanging now; and that sweet face
Settled in these strong lineaments!—There were
Who formed high hopes and flattering ones of thee,
Young Robert; for thine eye was quick to speak
Each opening feeling: should they not have known,
If the rich rainbow on the morning cloud
Reflects its radiant dyes, the husbandman
Beholds the ominous glory, and foresees
Impending storms.—They augured happily,
That thou didst love each wild and wondrous tale
Of fairy fiction, and thine infant tongue
Lisped with delight the godlike deeds of Greece
And rising Rome; therefore they deemed, forsooth,
That thou should tread preferment's pleasant path.
Ill-judging ones! they let thy little feet
Stray in the pleasant paths of poesy,
And when thou shouldst have prest amid the crowd,
There didst thou love to linger out the day,
Loitering beneath the laurel's barren shade.
Spirit of Spenser! was the wanderer wrong?





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