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The Joy Of Grief
JK (1784-1856 / Jamaica)

The Joy Of Grief

'In vain you touch that answering wire,
Attuned to softest notes of peace;
Not all the soothings of the lyre
Can bid a father's anguish cease.
The pang which youth's wild bosom wrings,
The deeper woe of manhood's stage
May melt before the breathing strings,
But not the settled griefs of age.
'I too those strings once loved full well,
When woke a daughter's hand the measure,
And love and music joined the spell,
That made each note a thrill of pleasure.
Hope too stood by, and every sound
With omen bland interpreted;
But Hope is now with cypress crowned,
And ear and heart alike are dead.'

'Oh slight not so the minstrel's strain,
Nor all his precious power forego,
Though now each varying cadence pain
A heart that bleeds with recent woe.
If oft thy suns in grief have set,
If still thy skies may seem o'ercast,
These chords can sooth the present yet,
And pluck its bitter from the past.
'Through all thy soul their calm shall creep,
Like friendship's sympathizing tone,
And, lulling sadder thoughts to sleep,
To tender memories wake alone;
And, sweet as sweetest eloquence
Of bard or sage, shall breathe relief;
And win thee, through thy charmèd sense,
To own at length the Joy of Grief.'

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