Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Poetry - Thomas Hood

This is a poem I remember reading many years ago but, now that I look at it again, I realise what a sad, melancholy poem it is. Thomas Hood (picture from here)  was a poet & humorist, fond of practical jokes & puns. He was sub-editor of the London Magazine & knew many of the writers of the early 19th century, including Coleridge, Lamb, Clare & de Quincey. Finding out a little about him makes me feel that this poem, with its yearnings after the innocence of youth, must have represented a passing phase rather than a settled melancholia.

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.


  1. Simon Brett introduced me to Thomas Hood in one of his Charles Paris Mysteries was the BBC Drama production of a play ..the name of which eludes me for the moment...I can hear Bill Nighy as Charles Paris reading from this poem as I read your blog entry ...great fun for a Sunday :0)

    I love the illustrations you find ..I now know what Thomas Hood looked like ..very satisfying ..Thank you

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I only knew this poem & The Song of the Shirt which is a serious poem about child labour exploitation so i was pleased to learn that he was well-known for his love of practical jokes!