I've just realised that we have not run a single poem by Thomas Moore! So here's another glaring omission rectified...
(Poem #1274) The Time I've Lost in Wooing
The time I've lost in wooing, In watching and pursuing The light, that lies In woman's eyes, Has been my heart's undoing. Though Wisdom oft has sought me, I scorn'd the lore she brought me, My only books Were woman's looks, And folly's all they've taught me. Her smile when Beauty granted, I hung with gaze enchanted, Like him, the sprite, Whom maids by night Oft meet in glen that's haunted. Like him, too, Beauty won me, But while her eyes were on me, If once their ray Was turn'd away, Oh! winds could not outrun me. And are those follies going? And is my proud heart growing Too cold or wise For brilliant eyes Again to set it glowing? No, vain, alas! th' endeavour From bonds so sweet to sever; Poor Wisdom's chance Against a glance Is now as weak as ever.
Note: Moore wrote these words to an old Irish air, "Pease Upon a Trencher" I like today's poem both for its musicality - it scarcely needs a footnote to realise that it is a song rather than a poem - and for its unabashed lack of seriousness (in the sense of lightness rather than silliness). It reminds me of Millay's And put a ribbon on my my hair To please a passing lad, And, "One thing there's no getting by -- I've been a wicked girl," said I: "But if I can't be sorry, why, I might as well be glad though, of course, Moore's narrator espoused a far more 'acceptable' viewpoint than Millay's. The viewpoint itself is thoroughly trite, and it is only the beauty of the words that redeems the banality of the sentiment, but this they do a more than adequate job of. In particular, songs often follow a different set of conventions from 'pure' poetry, and today's piece falls well within those conventions. Incidentally, Herrick's "Night Piece, To Julia" scans almost precisely to today's song - I wonder if Herrick had the same tune in mind, or whether it's just an easily-hit-upon pattern. Interestingly enough, my comment on the former Another of those wonderfully musical poems the rhythm of which sticks in my mind long after the words have faded. proved itself true - I hadn't thought of Herrick's poem in ages, but the rhythms of today's piece instantly recalled it. martin Links: There's a MIDI file here: [broken link] http://www.contemplator.com/folk5/wooing.html Biography: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/tmoore.htm