1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Neele

J. A. G., "To the Memory of Henry Neele" The Athenaeum (18 April 1828) 397.



This heart, this sad heart, knew thee long,
The child of feeling and of song;
Thy breast was like a Jordan tree,
And oft it bled its balm for me.
I loved the world, and so did'st thou;
She met thee with a smiling brow;
Her bitter scorn 'twas mine to see,
And frown on her, as she on me:—
Older and happier, (why this tear?)
Yet thou art gone, and I am here!

To woo the virgin Muse we strove;
Successful suitors in our love,
We oped a bank of smiles and tears,
To draw on for our future years.
Thy life, one bright and joyous round—
Still echoing to the same glad sound,
Seemed like a lake that needs no buoy,
Or bliss that fears no bankrupt joy:
Mine — one long, stormy night, and drear;
Yet thou art gone, and I am here!

Is there a luxury in woe—
A misery that we long to know?
Is there a chain we love to wear—
A joy that binds us to despair?
Born some ignoble rank to swell,
If feelings, habits, heart, rebel,
Is there a bond can tie me, still,
Those meaner duties to fulfil
If I can 'scape! — O tell me! where?
If none, why should I tarry here?