Poems by Themes •
Random Poem •
The Rating of Poets • The Rating of Poems
Poem by Charles Mackay
FORLORN old tower! that lookest sadly down Upon the river glittering in the light, Upon the green leaves of the clambering woods, And o’er the wide expanse of mountain-land, How many tales thine ancient walls might tell! And yet, thou silent undivulging tower, What couldst thou tell us that we do not know? The matter of all history is the same. Time in all changes can but iterate The morn and eve, the noontime and the night, The spring’s fresh promise and the autumnal fruit, The leaves of summer and the winter’s snow; And human story still repeats itself,— The form may differ, but the soul remains. Four hundred years ago, when thou wert built, Men erred and suffered;—truth and falsehood waged One with the other their perpetual war; And justice and injustice, right and wrong, Succumbed and triumphed as they do to-day. The young heart loved with passionate earnestness, The old heart scorned all follies but its own; And joy and sorrow, jealousy, revenge, Lusty ambition, skulking avarice, Patience and zeal, and persecuting rage, Pity and hope, and charity and love,— All good and evil passions of the mind, Brightened or darkened, O thou mouldering wall! Through all the landscape of humanity. Couldst thou divulge whatever thou hast seen, Thou couldst but call these spirits from the past To read us lessons. Ancient tower! thy voice Need not instruct us; for we look around On highways or on byways of our life, And find no sorrow of the ancient days Unparalleled in ours; no love sublime, No patient and heroic tenderness, No strong endurance in adversity, No womanly or manly grace of mind, That we could not, if every truth were known, Match with its fellow in our later days. So keep, old tower, thy secrets to thyself! There ’s not a hovel in the crowded town, That could not tell us tomes of histories Of good and evil, wonderful as thine.
Poem Theme: Castles
Charles Mackay's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org