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John Howard Payne

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

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Song's End

THE CHIME of a bell of gold
That flutters across the air,
The sound of a singing of old,
The end of a tale that is told,
Of a melody strange and fair,
of a joy that has grown despair:

For the things that have been for me
I shall never have them again;
The skies and the purple sea,
And day like a melody,
And night like a silver rain
Of stars on forest and plain.

They are shut, the gates of the day;
The night has fallen on me:
My life is a lightless way;
I sing yet, while as I may!
Some day I shall cease, maybe:
I shall live on yet, you will see.

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Sibyl

THIS is the glamour of the world antique:
The thyme-scents of Hymettus fill the air,
And in the grass narcissus-cups are fair.
The full brook wanders through the ferns to seek
The amber haunts of bees; and on the peak
Of the soft hill, against the gold-marged sky,
She stands, a dream from out the days gone by.
Entreat her not. Indeed, she will not speak!
Her eyes are full of dreams; and in her ears
There is the rustle of immortal wings;
And ever and anon the slow breeze bears
The mystic murmur of the songs she sings.
Entreat her not: she sees thee not, nor hears
Aught but the sights and sounds of bygone springs.

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Home, Sweet Home

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gayly, that come at my call --
Give me them -- and the peace of mind, dearer than all!
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild,
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child,
As she looks on that moon from our own cottage door
Thro' the woodbine, whose fragrance shall cheer me no more.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

[...] Read more

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Cadences

I
(MINOR)

THE ANCIENT memories buried lie,
And the olden fancies pass;
The old sweet flower-thoughts wither and fly,
And die as the April cowslips die,
That scatter the bloomy grass.

All dead, my dear! And the flowers are dead,
And the happy blossoming spring;
The winter comes with its iron tread,
The fields with the dying sun are red,
And the birds have ceas’d to sing.

I trace the steps on the wasted strand
Of the vanish’d springtime’s feet:
Wither’d and dead is our Fairyland,
For Love and Death go hand in hand
Go hand in hand, my sweet!

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Love's Autumn

YES, love, the Spring shall come again,
But not as once it came:
Once more in meadow and in lane
The daffodils shall flame,
The cowslips blow, but all in vain;
Alike, yet not the same.

The roses that we pluck’d of old
Were dew’d with heart’s delight;
Our gladness steep’d the primrose-gold
In half its lovely light:
The hopes are long since dead and cold
That flush’d the wind-flowers’ white.

Oh, who shall give us back our Spring?
What spell can fill the air
With all the birds of painted wing
That sang for us whilere?
What charm reclothe with blossoming
Our lives, grown blank and bare?

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Thorgerda

LO, what a golden day it is!
The glad sun rives the sapphire deeps
Down to the dim pearl-floor’d abyss
Where, cold in death, my lover sleeps;

Crowns with soft fire his sea-drench’d hair,
Kisses with gold his lips death-pale,
Lets down from heaven a golden stair,
Whose steps methinks his soul doth scale.

This is my treasure. White and sweet,
He lies beneath my ardent eyne,
With heart that nevermore shall beat,
Nor lips press softly against mine.

How like a dream it seems to me,
The time when hand in hand we went
By hill and valley, I and he,
Lost in a trance of ravishment!

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