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Dickens, Charles

· Charles Dickens: Little Nell’s Funeral · Charles Dickens: Squire Norton’s Song · Charles Dickens: Lucy’s Song · Charles Dickens: George Edmund’s Song · Charles Dickens: The Song of the Wreck · Charles Dickens: A Child’s Hymn · Charles Dickens: A fine Old English Gentleman · Charles Dickens: The Ivy Green · Charles Dickens: Gabriel Grub’s Song · Charles Dickens: The Hymn of the Wiltshire Laborers · Museum of Literary Treasures: Charles Dickens IV · Museum of Literary Treasures: Charles Dickens III

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Charles Dickens: Little Nell’s Funeral

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)


Little Nell’s Funeral 

And now the bell, — the bell
She had so often heard by night and day
  And listened to with solemn pleasure,
        E’en as a living voice, —
Rung its remorseless toll for her,
  So young, so beautiful, so good.

  Decrepit age, and vigorous life,
And blooming youth, and helpless infancy,
  Poured forth, — on crutches, in the pride of strength
        And health, in the full blush
        Of promise, the mere dawn of life, —
To gather round her tomb. Old men were there,
        Whose eyes were dim
        And senses failing, —
Grandames, who might have died ten years ago,
And still been old, — the deaf, the blind, the lame,
        The palsied,
The living dead in many shapes and forms,
To see the closing of this early grave.
  What was the death it would shut in,
To that which still could crawl and keep above it!

Along the crowded path they bore her now;
        Pure as the new fallen snow
That covered it; whose day on earth
        Had been as fleeting.
Under that porch, where she had sat when Heaven
In mercy brought her to that peaceful spot,
  She passed again, and the old church
  Received her in its quiet shade.

     They carried her to one old nook,
Where she had many and many a time sat musing,
  And laid their burden softly on the pavement.
           The light streamed on it through
The colored window, — a window where the boughs
        Of trees were ever rustling
     In the summer, and where the birds
           Sang sweetly all day long.

 


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Charles Dickens: Squire Norton’s Song

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

Squire Norton’s Song

 

HE child and the old man sat alone

In the quiet, peaceful shade

Of the old green boughs, that had richly grown

In the deep, thick forest glade.

It was a soft and pleasant sound,

That rustling of the oak;

And the gentle breeze played lightly round

As thus the fair boy spoke:–

 

"Dear father, what can honor be,

Of which I hear men rave?

Field, cell and cloister, land and sea,

The tempest and the grave:–

It lives in all, ’tis sought in each,

‘Tis never heard or seen:

Now tell me, father, I beseech,

What can this honor mean?"

 

"It is a name — a name, my child —

It lived in other days,

When men were rude, their passions wild,

Their sport, thick battle-frays.

When, in armor bright, the warrior bold

Knelt to his lady’s eyes:

Beneath the abbey pavement old

That warrior’s dust now lies.

 

"The iron hearts of that old day

Have mouldered in the grave;

And chivalry has passed away,

With knights so true and brave;

The honor, which to them was life,

Throbs in no bosom now;

It only gilds the gambler’s strife,

Or decks the worthless vow."


Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: Lucy’s Song

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

Lucy’s Song

 

How beautiful at eventide

To see the twilight shadows pale,

Steal o’er the landscape, far and wide,

O’er stream and meadow, mound and dale!

 

How soft is Nature’s calm repose

When ev’ning skies their cool dews weep:

The gentlest wind more gently blows,

As if to soothe her in her sleep!

 

The gay morn breaks,

Mists roll away,

All Nature awakes

To glorious day.

 

In my breast alone

Dark shadows remain;

The peace it has known

It can never regain.

 


Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: George Edmund’s Song

C h a r l e s   D i c k e n s

(1812-1870)


George Edmund’s Song

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around he here;

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!

How like the hopes of childhood’s day,

Thick clust’ring on the bough!

How like those hopes in their decay–

How faded are they now!

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here;

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!


Wither’d leaves, wither’d leaves, that fly before the gale:

Withered leaves, withered leaves, ye tell a mournful tale,

Of love once true, and friends once kind,

And happy moments fled:

Dispersed by every breath of wind,

Forgotten, changed, or dead!

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here!

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!

 

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: The Song of the Wreck

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

The Song of the Wreck

 

THE wind blew high, the waters raved,

A ship drove on the land,

A hundred human creatures saved

Kneel’d down upon the sand.

Threescore were drown’d, threescore were thrown

Upon the black rocks wild,

And thus among them, left alone,

They found one helpless child.

 

A seaman rough, to shipwreck bred,

Stood out from all the rest,

And gently laid the lonely head

Upon his honest breast.

And travelling o’er the desert wide

It was a solemn joy,

To see them, ever side by side,

The sailor and the boy.

 

In famine, sickness, hunger, thirst,

The two were still but one,

Until the strong man droop’d the first

And felt his labors done.

Then to a trusty friend he spake,

"Across the desert wide,

Oh, take this poor boy for my sake!"

And kiss’d the child and died.

 

Toiling along in weary plight

Through heavy jungle, mire,

These two came later every night

To warm them at the fire.

Until the captain said one day

"O seaman, good and kind,

To save thyself now come away,

And leave the boy behind!"

 

The child was slumbering near the blaze:

"O captain, let him rest

Until it sinks, when God’s own ways

Shall teach us what is best!"

They watch’d the whiten’d, ashy heap,

They touch’d the child in vain;

They did not leave him there asleep,

He never woke again.


 

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: A Child’s Hymn

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

A Child’s Hymn

 

Hear my prayer, O heavenly Father,

Ere I lay me down to sleep;

Bid Thy angels, pure and holy,

Round my bed their vigil keep.

 

My sins are heavy, but Thy mercy

Far outweighs them, every one;

Down before Thy cross I cast them,

Trusting in Thy help alone.

 

Keep me through this night of peril

Underneath its boundless shade;

Take me to Thy rest, I pray Thee,

When my pilgrimage is made.

 

None shall measure out Thy patience

By the span of human thought;

None shall bound the tender mercies

Which Thy Holy Son has bought.

 

Pardon all my past transgressions,

Give me strength for days to come;

Guide and guard me with Thy blessing

Till Thy angels bid me home.

 

 

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: A fine Old English Gentleman

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)


A fine Old English Gentleman

I’ll sing you a new ballad, and I’ll warrant it first-rate,
Of the days of that old gentleman who had that old estate;
When they spent the public money at a bountiful old rate
On ev’ry mistress, pimp, and scamp, at ev’ry noble gate,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!

The good old laws were garnished well with gibbets, whips, and chains,
With fine old English penalties, and fine old English pains,
With rebel heads, and seas of blood once hot in rebel veins;
For all these things were requisite to guard the rich old gains
Of the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!

This brave old code, like Argus, had a hundred watchful eyes,
And ev’ry English peasant had his good old English spies,
To tempt his starving discontent with fine old English lies,
Then call the good old Yeomanry to stop his peevish cries,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!

The good old times for cutting throats that cried out in their need,
The good old times for hunting men who held their fathers’ creed,
The good old times when William Pitt, as all good men agreed,
Came down direct from Paradise at more than railroad speed. . . .
Oh the fine old English Tory times;
When will they come again!

In those rare days, the press was seldom known to snarl or bark,
But sweetly sang of men in pow’r, like any tuneful lark;
Grave judges, too, to all their evil deeds were in the dark;
And not a man in twenty score knew how to make his mark.
Oh the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!

Those were the days for taxes, and for war’s infernal din;
For scarcity of bread, that fine old dowagers might win;
For shutting men of letters up, through iron bars to grin,
Because they didn’t think the Prince was altogether thin,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!

But Tolerance, though slow in flight, is strong-wing’d in the main;
That night must come on these fine days, in course of time was plain;
The pure old spirit struggled, but Its struggles were in vain;
A nation’s grip was on it, and it died in choking pain,
With the fine old English Tory days,
All of the olden time.

The bright old day now dawns again; the cry runs through the land,
In England there shall be dear bread — in Ireland, sword and brand;
And poverty, and ignorance, shall swell the rich and grand,
So, rally round the rulers with the gentle iron hand,
Of the fine old English Tory days; Hail to the coming time!

 

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: The Ivy Green

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)


The Ivy Green


Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,

That creepeth o’er ruins old!

Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,

In his cell so lone and cold.

The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,

To pleasure his dainty whim:

And the mouldering dust that years have made

Is a merry meal for him.

Creeping where no life is seen,

A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

 

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,

And a staunch old heart has he.

How closely he twineth, how tight he clings

To his friend the huge Oak Tree!

And slyly he traileth along the ground,

And his leaves he gently waves,

As he joyously hugs and crawleth round

The rich mould of dead men’s graves.

Creeping where grim death hath been,

A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

 

Whole ages have fled and their works decayed,

And nations have scattered been;

But the stout old Ivy shall never fade,

From its hale and hearty green.

The brave old plant, in its lonely days,

Shall fatten upon the past:

For the stateliest building man can raise

Is the Ivy’s food at last.

Creeping on where time has been,

A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: Gabriel Grub’s Song

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

Gabriel Grub’s Song


Brave lodgings for one, brave lodgings for one,

A few feet of cold earth, when life is done;

A stone at the head, a stone at the feet;

A rich, juicy meal for the worms to eat;

Rank grass overhead, and damp clay around,

Brave lodging for one, these, in holy ground!

 

Charles Dickens poetry

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Charles Dickens: The Hymn of the Wiltshire Laborers

Charles Dickens

(1812-1870)

 

The Hymn of the Wiltshire Laborers

 

O God! who by Thy prophet’s hand

Didst smite the rocky brake,

Whence water came, at Thy command,

Thy people’s thirst to slake;

Strike, now, upon this granite wall,

Stern, obdurate, and high;

And let some drops of pity fall

For us who starve and die!

 

The God who took a little child

And set him in the midst,

And promised him His mercy mild,

As, by Thy Son, Thou didst:

Look down upon our children dear,

So gaunt, so cold, so spare,

And let their images appear

Where lords and gentry are!

 

O God! teach them to feel how we,

When our poor infants droop,

Are weakened in our trust in Thee,

And how our spirits stoop;

For, in Thy rest, so bright and fair,

All tears and sorrows sleep:

And their young looks, so full of care,

Would make Thine angels weep!

 

The God who with His finger drew

The judgment coming on,

Write, for these men, what must ensue,

Ere many years be gone!

O God! whose bow is in the sky,

Let them not brave and dare,

Until they look (too late) on high,

And see an Arrow there!

 

O God, remind them! In the bread

They break upon the knee,

These sacred words may yet be read,

"In memory of Me!"

O God! remind them of His sweet

Compassion for the poor,

And how He gave them Bread to eat,

And went from door to door!

 


Charles Dickens poetry

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Museum of Literary Treasures: Charles Dickens IV

MUSEUM OF LITERARY TREASURES

CHARLES DICKENS

part IV

Charles Dickens Museum – Doughtystreet – London

Westminster Abbey – London

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Museum of Literary Treasures: Charles Dickens III

 

MUSEUM OF LITERARY TREASURES

CHARLES DICKENS

part III

Charles Dickens Museum – Doughtystreet – London

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