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Oh must I fling my harp aside,
Nor longer let it soothe my heart?
No! sooner might the tender bride
From th’ first night’s nuptial chamber part!
No! sooner might the warrior cast
His martial plume of glory down,
Or worshipt monarch fling in dust
His royal sceptre and his crown!
Must all that ever smoothed my way
Along the tedious path of time,
Or kept me for some glimpse of day,
Or held my desperate hand from crime;
Must all, that I have loved so dear,
When every other source of joy
Had fled, be careless thrown away
As if it were some idle toy?
Oh no—that harp may all be rough
And grating to another’s ear—
So let it be—it is enough
That unto me it still is dear!
If, in the silent midnight, I
Have oft my weeping heart beguiled,—
If oft when gloom surrounded me,
My spirit o’er its strains have smiled.
It were a folly strange indeed
To cast that solace from my breast!
It were but wishing yet to bleed
Without one certain place of rest;
It were to drink the bitterest gall,
To add but poison to a wound,
And find new pangs of sorrowing
Where hitherto they were not found.
It were to plunge within the deep
Of wilderness and night—where grope
Worse ills than e’er disturbed the sleep
Of minds forsook of peace and hope!
Oh, tell me not to spurn this harp,
Although it may not be divine,
For thou hast felt no pangs, as I,
And my sad soul’s unlike to thine.
’Tis sweet, when mournfulness enshrouds
The spirit sorrowing and pale,
And gather round the angry clouds,
To take the harp and tune its wail.
’Tis sweet, when calmly broods the night,
To wander forth where waters roll,
And, mingling with the waves its voice,
To rouse the passions of the soul!
Then, off with ye! who coldly tell
Me my loved harp to fling away—
I’d rather bid all friends
Than have the folly to obey!
For friends are but a fleeting trust,
As transient as the evening’s blush;
But, true to me in all my moods,
My harp shall ne’er its soothings hush!
Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.