CHANGED - Cćdmon Poems

 
 

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CHANGED

I know not why my soul is rack'd:
    Why I ne'er smile as was my wont:
I only know that, as a fact,
        I don't.
I used to roam o'er glen and glade
    Buoyant and blithe as other folk:
And not unfrequently I made
        A joke.

A minstrel's fire within me burn'd.
    I'd sing, as one whose heart must break,
Lay upon lay: I nearly learn'd
        To shake.
All day I sang; of love, of fame,
    Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
Until the thing almost became
        A bore.

I cannot sing the old songs now!
    It is not that I deem then low;
'Tis that I can't remember how
        They go.
I could not range the hills till high
    Above me stood the summer moon:
And as to dancing, I could fly
        As soon.

The sports, to which with boyish glee
    I sprang erewhile, attract no more;
Although I am but sixty-three
        Or four.
Nay, worse than that, I've seem'd of late
    To shrink from happy boyhood -- boys
Have grown so noisy, and I hate
        A noise.

They fright me, when the beech is green,
    By swarming up its stem for eggs:
They drive their horrid hoops between
        My legs: --
It's idle to repine, I know;
    I'll tell you what I'll do instead:
I'll drink my arrowroot, and go
        To bed.