Poetry Friday: I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood, 1837

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily cups–
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,–
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
The summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

Sad poem with a kind of Thomas Hardy/A.E. Houseman feel to it. According to Wikipedia, Hood was a humorist and a poet. He liked puns and wordplay. He certainly wasn’t feeling very humorous when he wrote I Remember, but it does have an almost pleasant sort of melancholy feel to it.

Hood was friends with Victorian novelist William Makepeace Thackeray who said of Hood: “Oh sad, marvelous picture of courage, of honesty, of patient endurance, of duty struggling against pain! … Here is one at least without guile, without pretension, without scheming, of a pure life, to his family and little modest circle of friends tenderly devoted.”
Nice epitaph.

1 thought on “Poetry Friday: I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood, 1837

  1. This video is featured today at Faith, Fiction, Friends. It’s quite moving. TY.

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