Eliza Cook (1818-1889)

return to sonnet central return to the Victorian Era

Written at the Couch of a Dying Parent

'Tis midnight! and pale Melancholy stands
Beside me, wearing a funereal wreath
Of yew and cypress; the faint dirge of death
Moans in her breathing, while her withered hands
Fling corse-bedecking rosemary around.
She offers nightshade, spreads a winding-sheet,
Points to the clinging clay upon her feet,
And whispers tidings of the charnel ground.
Oh! pray thee, Melancholy, do not bring
These bitter emblems with thee; I can bear
With all but these,--'tis these, oh God! that wring
And plunge my heart in maddening despair.
Hence, for awhile, pale Melancholy, go!
And let sweet slumber lull my weeping woe.