Beneath this gloomy shade,
By Nature only for my sorrows made,
I'll spend this voyce in crys,
In tears I'll waste these eyes
By Love so vainly fed;
So Lust of old the Deluge punished.
Ah wretched youth! said I,
'Ah, wretched youth!' twice did I sadly cry:
'Ah, wretched youth!' the fields and floods reply.
When thoughts of Love I entertain,
I meet no words but 'Never,' and 'In vain.'
'Never' alas that dreadful name
Which fuels the infernal flame:
'Never,' My time to come must waste;
'In vain,' torments the present and the past.
'In vain, in vain!' said I;
'In vain, in vain!' twice did I sadly cry;
'In vain, in vain!' the fields and floods reply.
No more shall fields or floods do so;
For I to shades more dark and silent go:
All this world's noise appears to me
A dull ill-acted comedy:
No comfort to my wounded sight,
In the suns busy and imperti'nent Light.
Then down I laid my head;
Down on cold earth; and for a while was dead,
And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled.
'Ah, sottish Soul' said I,
When back to its cage again I saw it fly;
'Fool to resume her broken chain!
And row her galley here again!'
'Fool, to that body to return
Where it condemn'd and destin'd is to burn!
Once dead, how can it be,
Death should a thing so pleasant seem to thee,
That thou should'st come to live it o're again in me?'
Abraham Cowley's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Despair by Abraham Cowley )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- Through it all, yvonne stine
- Let us do good, Luo Zhihai
- Ask the tree, Luo Zhihai
- The Story Of Grandpa, Taiko
- Love Note 15, Michael P. McParland
- Poetry Heaven, Kim Barney
- Thank You My Love, Margaret Alice Second
- My Dream, Michael P. McParland
- joshua trees hopping in the trunk of the.., Mandolyn ...
- my lovely lovely wife, Rasheed Alqahas