Edward Fitzgerald

(31 March 1809 – 14 June 1883 / Suffolk / England)

Old Song


TIS a dull sight
   To see the year dying,
When winter winds
   Set the yellow wood sighing:
   Sighing, O sighing!

When such a time cometh
   I do retire
Into an old room
   Beside a bright fire:
   O, pile a bright fire!

And there I sit
   Reading old things,
Of knights and lorn damsels,
   While the wind sings--
   O, drearily sings!

I never look out
   Nor attend to the blast;
For all to be seen
   Is the leaves falling fast:
   Falling, falling!

But close at the hearth,
   Like a cricket, sit I,
Reading of summer
   And chivalry--
   Gallant chivalry!

Then with an old friend
   I talk of our youth--
How 'twas gladsome, but often
   Foolish, forsooth:
   But gladsome, gladsome!

Or, to get merry,
   We sing some old rhyme
That made the wood ring again
   In summer time--
   Sweet summer time!

Then go we smoking,
   Silent and snug:
Naught passes between us,
   Save a brown jug--
   Sometimes!

And sometimes a tear
   Will rise in each eye,
Seeing the two old friends
   So merrily--
   So merrily!

And ere to bed
   Go we, go we,
Down on the ashes
   We kneel on the knee,
   Praying together!

Thus, then, live I
   Till, 'mid all the gloom,
By Heaven! the bold sun
   Is with me in the room
   Shining, shining!

Then the clouds part,
   Swallows soaring between;
The spring is alive,
   And the meadows are green!

I jump up like mad,
   Break the old pipe in twain,
And away to the meadows,
   The meadows again!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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