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Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld


   Animula, vagula, blandula.

Life! I know not what thou art,
   But know that thou and I must part;
   And when, or how, or where we met,
   I own to mes a secret yet.
   But this I know, when thou art fled,
   Whereer they lay these limbs, this head,
   No clod so valueless shall be,
   As all that then remains of me.
   O whither, whither dost thou fly,
   Where bend unseen thy trackless course,
      And in this strange divorce,
Ah tell where I must seek this compound I?

To the vast ocean of empyreal flame,
      From whence thy essence came,
      Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
      From matters base encumbering weed?
         Or dost thou, hid from sight,
         Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
Through blank oblivious years th appointed hour,
To break thy trance and reassume thy power?
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
O say what art thou, when no more thou rt thee?

      Life! weve been long together,
      Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
         Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
         Perhaps t will cost a sigh, a tear;
         Then steal away, give little warning,
            Choose thine own time;
      Say not Good night, but in some brighter clime
            Bid me Good morning. 

Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Anna Laetitia Barbauld's other poems:
  1. The Origin of Song-Writing
  2. The Invitation, to Miss B
  3. Song 3 (LEAVE me, simple shepherd, leave me)
  4. Song 6 (WHEN first upon your tender cheek)
  5. Song 2 (IF ever thou didst joy to bind)

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Samuel Coleridge Life ("As late I journey'd o'er the extensive plain")
  • Charlotte Bront Life ("LIFE, believe, is not a dream")
  • Abraham Cowley Life ("Life's a name")
  • Bryan Procter Life ("WE are born; we laugh; we weep")
  • Francis Bacon Life ("THE world's a bubble, and the life of man")
  • Florence Coates Life ("Before we knew thee thou wert with us; ay")
  • Paul Dunbar Life ("A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in")
  • James Johnson Life ("Out of the infinite sea of eternity")
  • Henry Van Dyke Life ("LET me but live my life from year to year")
  • Jones Very Life ("IT is not life upon Thy gifts to live")
  • Edith Wharton Life ("LIFE, like a marble block, is given to all")
  • Mary Robinson Life ("What is this world?thy school, O misery!")

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