The Poetry Corner

Nunc Te Bacche Canam.

By Edward Woodley Bowling

'Tis done!Henceforth nor joy nor woe Can make or mar my fate; I gaze around, above, below, And all is desolate. Go, bid the shattered pine to bloom; The mourner to be merry; But bid no ray to cheer the tomb In which my hopes I bury! I never thought the world was fair; That 'Truth must reign victorious'; I knew that Honesty was rare; Wealth only meritorious. I knew that Women might deceive, And sometimes cared for money; That Lovers who in Love believe Find gall as well as honey. I knew that "wondrous Classic lore" Meant something most pedantic; That Mathematics were a bore, And Morals un-romantic. I knew my own beloved light-blue Might much improve their rowing: In fact, I knew a thing or two Decidedly worth knowing. But thou! - Fool, fool, I thought that thou At least wert something glorious; I saw thy polished ivory brow, And could not feel censorious. I thought I saw thee smile - but that Was all imagination; Upon the garden seat I sat, And gazed in adoration. I plucked a newly-budding rose, Our lips then met together; We spoke not - but a lover knows How lips two lives can tether. We parted!I believed thee true; I asked for no love-token; But now thy form no more I view - My Pipe, my Pipe, thou'rt broken! Broken! - and when the Sun's warm rays Illumine hill and heather, I think of all the pleasant days We might have had together. When Lucifer's phosphoric beam Shines e'er the Lake's dim water, O then, my Beautiful, I dream Of thee, the salt sea's daughter. O why did Death thy beauty snatch And leave me lone and blighted, Before the Hymeneal match Our young loves had united? I knew thou wert not made of clay, I loved thee with devotion, Soft emanation of the spray! Bright, foam-born child of Ocean! One night I saw an unknown star, Methought it gently nodded; I saw, or seemed to see, afar Thy spirit disembodied. Cleansed from the stain of smoke and oil, My tears it bade me wipe, And there, relieved from earthly toil, I saw my Meerschaum pipe. Men offer me the noisome weed; But nought can calm my sorrow; Nor joy nor misery I heed; I care not for the morrow. Pipeless and friendless, tempest-tost I fade, I faint, I languish; He only who has loved and lost Can measure all my anguish.