Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

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There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave--under the deep deep sea,
Or in the wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hushed--no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Thoughl the dun fox, or wild hyaena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.


It is not death, that sometime in a sigh
This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight;
That sometime these bright stars, that now reply
In sunlight to the sun, shall set in night;
That this warm conscious flesh shall perish quite,
And all life's ruddy springs forget to flow;
That thoughts shall cease, and the immortal sprite
Be lapped in alien clay and laid below;
It is not death to know this,--but to know
That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
So duly and so oft,--and when grass waves
Over the past-away, there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.

"The world is with me..."

The world is with me, and its many cares,
Its woes--its wants--the anxious hopes and fears
That wait on all terrestrial affairs--
The shades of former and of future years--
Forboding fancies and prophetic tears,
Quelling a spirit that was once elate.
Heavens! what a wilderness the world appears,
Where youth, and mirth, and health are out of date;
But no--a laugh of innocence and joy
Resounds, like music of the fairy race,
And, gladly turning from the world's annoy,
I gaze upon a little radiant face,
And bless, internally, the merry boy
Who "makes a son-shine in a shady place."

See Wordsworth's The World Is Too Much with Us.

On Mistress Nicely, a Pattern for Housekeepers

She was a woman peerless in her station,
With household virtues wedded to her name;
Spotless in linen, grass-bleached in her fame;
And pure and clear-starched in her conversation;
Thence in my Castle of Imagination
She dwells for evermore, the dainty dame,
To keep all airy draperies from shame
And all dream furnitures in preservation:

There walketh she with keys quite silver bright,
In perfect hose and shoes of seemly black,
Apron and stomacher of lily white,
And decent order follows in her track:
The burnished plate grows lustrous in her sight,
And polished floors and tables shine her back.

Allegory: A Moral Vehicle

I had a gig-horse, and I called him Pleasure
Because on Sundays for a little jaunt
He was so fast and showy, quite a treasure;
Although he sometimes kicked and shied aslant.
I had a chaise, and christened it Enjoyment,
With yellow body and the wheels of red,
Because it was only used for one employment,
Namely, to go wherever Pleasure led.
I had a wife, her nickname was Delight:
A son called Frolic, who was never still:
Alas! how often dark succeeds to bright!
Delight was thrown, and Frolic had a spill,
Enjoyment was upset and shattered quite,
And Pleasure fell a splitter on Paine's Hill.

Christmas Holidays

Along the Woodford road there comes a noise
Of wheels, and Mr. Rounding's neat post-chaise
Struggles along, drawn by a pair of bays,
With Reverend Mr. Crow and six small boys,
Who ever and anon declare their joys
With trumping horns and juvenile huzzas,
At going home to spend their Christmas days,
And changing learning's pains for pleasure's toys.
Six weeks elapse, and down the Woodford way
A heavy coach drags six more heavy souls,
But no glad urchins shout, no trumpets bray,
The carriage makes a halt, the gate-bell tolls,
And little boys walk in as dull and mum
As six new scholars to the Deaf and Dumb!