Moods of the Mind.

No I.

Despondency.—A Reverie.

Twas on the evening of an August day,1
A day of clouds and tempest, that I stood2
Within the shade of over-arching wood,3
My bosom filled with visions of decay ;4
Around were strewed the shivered leaves, all wet ;5
The boughs above were dripping ; and the sky6
Threw down the shadows of despondency,—7
As if all melancholy things were met8
To blast this lower world. I leaned my side9
Against an oak, and sighed o’er human pride !10
I thought of life, and love, and earthly bliss,11
Of all we pine for, pant for, and pursue,12
And found them like the mist, or matin dew,13
Fading to nothingness in Time’s abyss.14
Our fathers,—where are they ?  The moss is green15
Upon the tablet that records their worth ;16
They have co-mingled with their parent earth,17
And only in our dreams of yore are seen,—18
Our visions of the by-past, which have fled,19
To leave us wandering ’mid the buried dead.20
I thought of men, who looked upon my face,21
Breathing, and life-like, breathless now and cold,—22
I heard their voices issuing from the mould,23
Amid the scenes that bear of them no trace.24
I thought of smiling children, who have sat25
All evening on my knees, and pressed my hand,26
Their cherub features and their accents bland,—27
Their innocence,—and their untimely fate ;—28
How soon their flower was cropt, and laid below29
The turf, where daisies spring, and lilies blow.30
I thought of sunless regions, where the day31
Smiles not, and all is dreariness and death ;—32
Of weltering oceans, where the winter’s breath33
Beats on the emerald ice, and rocky bay ;34
I thought me of the old times,—of the halls35
Of ancient castles mouldering to the dust36
Of swords, long used in war, bedimm’d with rust,37
Hanging in danky vaults, upon the walls,38
Where coffined warriors rest, amid the night39
Of darkness, never tinged by morning light.40
The unsheltered cattle lowed upon the plain ;—41
The speckled frog was leaping ’mid the grass,42
Down to the lakelets edge, whose breast of glass43
Was wrinkled only by the tardy rain.44
Dim was the aspect of the sullen sky ;—45
The night scowled gloomier down :— I could not throw46
From off my heart the weary weight of woe,47
But loathed the world, and coveted to die ;48
Beholding only in the earth and air49
Omens of desolation and despair.”50