On the day 6 of the Blog chatter’s #WRITEAPAGEADAY, Here is a poem with love as the major theme.
Poet: Thomas Love Peacock
Poem: LOVE AND AGE
I PLAY’D with you ’mid cowslips blowing,
When I was six and you were four;
When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing,
Were pleasures soon to please no more.
Through groves and meads, o’er grass and heather,
With little playmates, to and fro,
We wander’d hand in hand together;
But that was sixty years ago.
You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
And still our early love was strong;
Still with no care our days were laden,
They glided joyously along;
And I did love you very dearly,
How dearly words want power to show;
I thought your heart was touch’d as nearly;
But that was fifty years ago.
Then other lovers came around you,
Your beauty grew from year to year,
And many a splendid circle found you
The centre of its glittering sphere.
I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
On rank and wealth your hand bestow;
O, then I thought my heart was breaking!—
But that was forty years ago.
And I lived on, to wed another:
No cause she gave me to repine;
And when I heard you were a mother,
I did not wish the children mine.
My own young flock, in fair progression,
Made up a pleasant Christmas row:
My joy in them was past expression;
But that was thirty years ago.
You grew a matron plump and comely,
You dwelt in fashion’s brightest blaze;
My earthly lot was far more homely;
But I too had my festal days.
No merrier eyes have ever glisten’d
Around the hearth-stone’s wintry glow,
Than when my youngest child was christen’d;
But that was twenty years ago.
Time pass’d. My eldest girl was married,
And I am now a grandsire gray;
One pet of four years old I’ve carried
Among the wild-flower’d meads to play.
In our old fields of childish pleasure,
Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
She fills her basket’s ample measure;
And that is not ten years ago.
But though first love’s impassion’d blindness
Has pass’d away in colder light,
I still have thought of you with kindness,
And shall do, till our last good-night.
The ever-rolling silent hours
Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers
Will be an hundred years ago.
Thomas Love Peacock, born on October 18th 1785, at Weymouth, was the only son of a glass merchant. His boyhood was spent chiefly at Chertsey, and from his seventh to his thirteenth year he was educated at a private school in Englefield Green. He proved an apt and industrious student, took instinctively to Literature and broke out into verse –writing as most book loving boys do at an early age.
Peacock’s association with literary history of the earlier years of the 19th century were many and interesting. He was the friend and the advisory of Shelley, knew most of the Benthamit Radicals, and had written for many of the important reviews and magazines.
Peacock is as guiltless of preaching as was Jane Austen. He did not laugh at the world to improve its morals but merely to improve his own digestion. It pleased him to do so, and he would laugh at his best friends or himself with the same zest as he laughed at those whom he disliked.
His style is admirable: lucid, harmonious and apposite. In his care for achieving his effects, in his fastidious sensibility for the precise phrase and proper emphasis, he remains one rather of the great 18th century humourists than of his contemporaries.
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