Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sydney Dobell—"The Captain's Wife"

excerpt from THE CAPTAIN'S WIFE
(England in Time of War, 1856)

No, do not speak:
Nor, oh! let any tell of thy pale cheek,
nor paint the silent sorrow of thine eye,
Nor tell me thou art fond, or gay, or glad;
For, ah! so tuned and lightly strung am I,
That howsoe’er thou stir, I ring thereby.
Thy manly voice is deep,
But if thou touch from sleep
The woman’s treble of my shrill reply,
Ah, who shall say thine echoes may not weep?
A jester’s ghost is sad,
The shades of merriest flowers do mow and creep,
And oh, the vocal shadows that should fly
About the simplest word that thou canst say,
Wat after spell shall ever lay?


So, thinking of thy debt to Love and me,
In some dull hour beyond the sea,
Do thou but only say
—as carelessly as men do pay their debts—
“Oh, weary day!”
And that one sigh o’ersets
The hive of my regrets,
“Ah, weary, weary day,
Oh, weary, weary day,
Oh, day so weary, oh, day so dreary,
Oh, weary, weary, weary, weary, weary,
Oh, weary, weary!”


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