You Ask me forVerses
ou bid me now to strike the lyre,That mute and torn so long has lain:And yet I cannot wake the strain,Nor will the Muse one note inspire!Coldly it shakes in accenta dire,As if my soul itself to wring,And when its sound seems but to flingA jest at its own low lament;So in sad isolation pent,My soul can neither feel nor sing.
here was a time-ah, 't is too true -But that time long ago has past -When upon me the Muse had castIndulgent smile and friendship's due;But of that age now all too fewThe thoughts that with me yet will stay;As from the hours of festive playThere linger on mysterious notes,And in our minds the memory floatsOf minstrelsy and music gay.
plant I am, that scarcely grown,Was torn from out its Eastern bed,Where all around perfume is shed,And life but as a dream is known;The land that I can call my own,By me forgotten ne'er to be,Where trilling birds their song taughtme,And cascades with their ceaseless roar,And all along the apreading shoreThe murmurs of the sounding sea.
hile yet in childhood's happy day,I learned upon its sun to smile,And in my breast there seems the whileSeething volcanic fires to play.A bard I was, my wish alwayTo call upon the fleeting wind,With all the force of verse and mind:"Go forth, and spread around its flameFrom zone to zone with glad acclaim,And earth to heaven together bind !"
ut it I left, and now no more -Like a tree that is broken and sere -My natal gods bring the echo clearOf songs that in past times they bore;Wide seas I cross'd to foreign shore,With hope of change and other fate;My folly waa made clear too late,For in the place of good I soughtThe seas reveal'd unto me naught,But made death's specter on me wait.
ll these fond fancies that were mine,AIl love, all feeling, all emprise,Were left beneath the sunny skies,Which o'er that flowery region shine;So press no more that plea of thine,For songs of love from out a heartThat coldly liea a thing apart;Since now with tortur'd soul I hasteUnresting o'er the desert waste,And lifeless gone is all the art.