The Cypress, in its dark funereal dress

The cypress, in its dark funereal dress,
Hangs o'er the sacred tomb where Virgil lies,
And as the evening breeze begins to curl
The golden waves that lave the Baian shores,
And heave in gurgling tides their crest of foam,
Kissing the polished shells and snowy sands,
A strain of sorrow seems to breathe
From those low-bending boughs, the whispering wind
Wakes every leaf to music, and the tree becomes a harmony
Of myriad voices, as if Heaven's whole choir,
Cherub and Seraph, on their harps of gold,
Should pour a dirge for man's unhappy fall,
And weep that powers, which took in Heaven
The kindling spark of life,
Should lose that light and die.
The mind is bound to sense,
And if the reins of sense
Are loosed in youth's impetuous hour,
Without a skilful hand to check or guide,
Like full-fed, fiery coursers bursting from the goal
They rush, and with them hurry on the mind, the charioteer:
Then Reason's voice is heard in vain,
Wild as the tempest-winds they fly,
Obscured by dust, and bathed in foam,
They burst away, they know not whither. Death
Sits on his storm-cloud, draws his dart, and bends his bow;
The arrow flies with awful twang,—
It leaves the body spent, but kills the mind;
And souls, that might have soared aloft and sung,
Like him who sleeps within this hallowed cave,
Lose all their fire, and sink to earth, in dust and darkness lost.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.