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- MY life -- to Discontent a prey --
- Is in the sere and yellow leaf.
- 'Tis vain for happiness to pray:
- No solace brings my heart relief.
- My pulse is weak, my spirit low;
- I cannot think, I cannot write.
- I strive to spin a verse -- but lo!
- My rhymes are very rarely right.
- I sit within my lowly cell,
- And strive to court the comic Muse;
- But how can Poesy excel,
- With such a row from yonder mews?
- In accents passionately high
- The carter chides the stubborn horse;
- And shouts a 'Gee!' or yells a 'Hi!'
- In tones objectionably hoarse.
- In vain for Poesy I wait;
- No comic Muse my call obeys.
- My brains are loaded with a weight
- That mocks the laurels and the bays.
- I wish my brains could only be
- Inspired with industry anew;
- And labour like the busy bee,
- In strains no Genius ever knew.
- Although I strive with all my might,
- Alas, my efforts all are vain!
- I've no afflatus -- not a mite;
- I cannot work the comic vein.
- The Tragic Muse may hear my pleas,
- And waft me to a purer clime.
- Melpomene! assist me, please,
- To somewhat higher heights to climb.
- Henry S. Leigh
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