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Poem by Henry Kirke White


It is not that my lot is low,
That bids this silent tear to flow;
It is not grief that bids me moan;
It is that I am all alone.

In woods and glens I love to roam,
When the tired hedger hies him home;
Or by the woodland pool to rest,
When pale the star looks on its breast.

Yet when the silent evening sighs,
With hallow'd airs and symphonies,
My spirit takes another tone,
And sighs that it is all alone.

The autumn leaf is sere and dead,
It floats upon the water's bed;
I would not be a leaf, to die
Without recording sorrow's sigh!

The woods and winds, with sullen wail,
Tell all the same unvaried tale;
I've none to smile when I am free,
And when I sigh, to sigh with me.

Yet in my dreams a form I view,
That thinks on me, and loves me too;
I start, and when the vision's flown,
I weep that I am all alone.

If far from me the Fates remove
Domestic peace, connubial love,
The prattling ring, the social cheer,
Affection's voice, affection's tear,
Ye sterner powers, that bind the heart,
To me your iron aid impart!
O teach me when the nights are chill,
And my fireside is lone and still;
When to the blaze that crackles near,
I turn a tired and pensive ear,
And Nature conquering bids me sigh
For love's soft accents whispering nigh;
O teach me, on that heavenly road,
That leads to Truth's occult abode,
To wrap my soul in dreams sublime,
Till earth and care no more be mine.
Let bless'd Philosophy impart
Her soothing measures to my heart;
And while with Plato's ravish'd ears
I list the music of the spheres,
Or on the mystic symbols pore,
That hide the Chald's sublimer lore,
I shall not brood on summers gone,
Nor think that I am all alone.

Fanny! upon thy breast I may not lie!
Fanny! thou dost not hear me when I speak!
Where art thou, love?-Around I turn my eye,
And as I turn, the tear is on my cheek.
Was it a dream? or did my love behold
Indeed my lonely couch?-Methought the breath
Fann'd not her bloodless lip; her eye was cold
And hollow, and the livery of death
Invested her pale forehead. Sainted maid!
My thoughts oft rest with thee in thy cold grave,
Through the long wintry night, when wind and wave
Rock the dark house where thy poor head is laid.
Yet, hush! my fond heart, hush! there is a shore
Of better promise; and I know at last,
When the long sabbath of the tomb is past,
We two shall meet in Christ-to part no more. 

Henry Kirke White

Henry Kirke White's other poems:
  1. Oft in Sorrow, Oft in Woe
  2. Christmas Day
  3. Lines on Reading the Poems of Wharton
  4. A Pastoral Song
  5. The Star of Bethlehem

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • George Byron Solitude ("To sit on rocks, to muse oТer flood and fell")
  • Alan Milne Solitude ("I have a house where I go")
  • George Crabbe Solitude ("Free from envy, strife and sorrow")
  • John Newman Solitude ("There is in stillness oft a magic power")
  • Archibald Lampman Solitude ("HOW still it is here in the woods. The trees")

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