Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PASSING AND PERMANENT, by JOHN LAWSON STODDARD

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PASSING AND PERMANENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Stately boats, with happy crowds
Last Line: Do not drain your glass!
Subject(s): Boats; Gardens & Gardening; Grief; Sorrow; Sadness

Stately boats, with happy crowds,
Passing up the lake,
Leaving, under sunset clouds,
Jewels in your wake,
From my garden's sheltered strand
I can watch you glide,
As through some enchanted land
On a silver tide.

To your eyes, O joyous throng,
All this scene is new;
Like a burst of seraphs' song,
Comes its matchless view;
You have traversed land and sea
For this wondrous sight,
Which the gods vouchsafe to me
Every day and night!

One long, serial pageant this
Of supreme content!
Every face suffused with bliss,
Every eye intent;
Griefs and troubles slip away
On this charming shore,
And throughout a transient stay
Will return no more.

Yet beware! Gardens fair,
Lake, and snow-capped crest
For a while may banish care
From the saddest breast;
But it quickly, even here,
Finds the heart again,
With the old-time sigh and tear,
And the well-known pain.

Careless crew, I envy you!
You will grieve to go,
But, believe me, if you knew,
You would choose it so;
Leave the lake while still you laugh;
Be content to pass;
Though its wine be sweet to quaff,
Do not drain your glass!

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