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Melancholy–To Laura
by [?]

And dost thou glory so to think?
And heaves thy bosom?–Woe!
This cup, which lures him to the brink,
As if divinity to drink–
Has poison in its flow!
Wretched, oh, wretched, they who trust
To strike the God-spark from the dust!
The mightiest tone the music knows,
But breaks the harp-string with the sound;
And genius, still the more it glows,
But wastes the lamp whose life bestows
The light it sheds around.
Soon from existence dragged away,
The watchful jailer grasps his prey:
Vowed on the altar of the abused fire,
The spirits I raised against myself conspire!
Let–yes, I feel it two short springs away
Pass on their rapid flight;
And life’s faint spark shall, fleeting from the clay,
Merge in the Fount of Light!

And weep’st thou, Laura?–be thy tears forbid;
Would’st thou my lot, life’s dreariest years amid,
Protract and doom?–No: sinner, dry thy tears:
Would’st thou, whose eyes beheld the eagle wing
Of my bold youth through air’s dominion spring,
Mark my sad age (life’s tale of glory done)–
Crawl on the sod and tremble in the sun?
Hear the dull frozen heart condemn the flame
That as from heaven to youth’s blithe bosom came;
And see the blind eyes loathing turn from all
The lovely sins age curses to recall?
Let me die young!–sweet sinner, dry thy tears!
Yes, let the flower be gathered in its bloom!
And thou, young genius, with the brows of gloom,
Quench thou life’s torch, while yet the flame is strong!
Even as the curtain falls; while still the scene
Most thrills the hearts which have its audience been;
As fleet the shadows from the stage–and long
When all is o’er, lingers the breathless throng!