Thomas Hood

Thomas Hood

May 23, 1799 - May 3, 1845


The Poet's Portion

by Thomas Hood

What is a mine -- a treasury -- a dower --
A magic talisman of mighty power?
A poet's wide possession of the earth.
He has the enjoyment of a flower's birth
Before its budding -- ere the first red streaks,
And winter cannot rob him of their cheeks,
Look -- if his dawn be not as other men's!
Twenty bright flushes -- ere another kens
The first of sunlight is abroad -- he sees
Its golden 'lection of the topmost trees,
And opes the splendid fissures of the morn.
Then do his fruits delay, when doth his corn
Linger for harvesting? Before the leaf
Is commonly abroad, in his piled sheaf
The flagging poppies lose their ancient flame.
No sweet there is, no pleasure I can name,
But he will sip it first -- before the lees.
'Tis his to taste rich honey, -- ere the bees
Are busy with the brooms. He may forestall
June's rosy advent for his coronal;
Before the expectant buds upon the bough,
Twining his thoughts to bloom upon his brow.
O! blest to see the flower in its seed,
Before its leafy presence; for indeed
Leaves are but wings, on which the summer flies,
And each thing perishable fades and dies,
Escaped in thought; but his rich thinkings be
Like overflows of immortality.
So that what there is steeped shall perish never,
But live and bloom, and be a joy forever.


The Poetical Works Of Thomas Hood
Copyright 1861
Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and Company