Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


This Life Is All Chequer'd With Pleasures And Woes

by Thomas Moore

This life is all chequer'd with pleasures and woes,
That chase one another like waves of the deep;
Each billow as brightly or darkly it flows,
Reflecting our eyes, as they sparkle or weep.
So closely our whims on our miseries tread,
That the laugh is called up ere the tear can be dried;
And as fast as the raindrop of pity is shed,
The goose-feathers of Folly can turn it aside.
But pledge me the cup, if existence would cloy,
With hearts ever happy, and heads ever wise,
Be ours the light Grief that is sister to joy,
And the short brilliant Folly that flashes and dies!

When Hylas was sent with his urn to the fount,
Thro' fields full of sunshine, with heart full of play,
Light rambled the boy over meadow and mount,
And neglected his task for the flowers on the way.
Thus some who like me, should have drawn and have tasted
The fountain that runs by philosophy's shrine,
Their time with the flowers on the margin have wasted,
And left their light urns all as empty as mine!
But pledge me the goblet -- while Idleness weaves
Her flowerets together, if Wisdom can see
One bright drop or two that has fall'n on the leaves
From the fountain divine, 'tis sufficient for me!


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.