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Poem by Richard Monckton Milnes

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Grief sat beside the fount of tears,
And dipt her garland in it,
While all the paly flowers she wears
Grew fainter every minute.

Joy gamboled by the other side,
In gay and artless guise,
And to her gloomy sister cried,
With laughter in her eyes--

``Oh! prithee leave that stupid task,
That melancholy fountain;
I go in Pleasure's sun to bask,
Or dance up Fancy's mountain.''

``Insolent fooler!--go--beware,''
Said Grief, in moody tone,
``How thus you frivolously dare
Approach my solemn throne!''

And then, on Joy's fair wreath she threw,
With sideward glance of malice,
Some drops of that embitter'd dew
Fresh from a poison'd chalice.

But Joy laugh'd on;--``In vain, in vain
You try to blight one flower;
That which you meant for fatal bane
Shall prove my brightest dower:--

``Friendship and Love on every leaf
Shall wear the pearly toy,
And all, who shrink from tears of Grief,
Shall pray for tears of Joy.''

Richard Monckton Milnes

Richard Monckton Milnes's other poems:
  1. To Charles Lamb
  2. Sir Walter Scott at the Tomb of the Stuarts in St Peter's
  3. Columbus and the Mayflower
  4. Valentia
  5. On a Scene in Tuscany

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