Life's Early Joys by Henry Parkes

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Life's early joys! the summer clouds,
   Which hang about the moon,
Are not so beautiful as they,
   And perish not so soon.

We seek the flow'ret's resting place,
   And deem its breath and bloom
Enough to gladden man's estate,
   Ere taught our common doom.

But when we see the spoiler sport
   With the sweet lives of flowers,
We feel the heart, with trembling, wake
   Within their ruin'd bowers.

We wander in the night of snow,
   'Neath winter's thronging stars;
And wing on blessed thoughts away,
   From all which misery mars.

But scarce that joy's pure influence warms
   The bosom, when the world,
In cold and gloomy pictures, back
   O'er the mind's depths is hurl'd.

We meet some gentle one, whose eye
   Speaks of a loving heart;
And joy seems come, with crowning light,
   Now never to depart.

Alas, the earthliness of love!
   A thousand ills o'erwhelm
The spirit, 'neath its guardian's wings,
   In love's own starry realm.

Joys pure and deep may be reserved,
   Yet for life's calm decline;
I know not, and I dare not doubt
   But such may yet be mine!

First published in Australasian Chronicle, 25 August 1840;
and later in
Stolen Moments: A Short Series of Poems by Henry Parkes, 1842.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 25, 2011 6:55 AM.

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