The Broken Heart’s Carouse [poem by Charles Harpur, 2 June 1835]

[Editor: A poem by Charles Harpur.]

The Broken Heart’s Carouse.

Come Alan I will fill the bowl,
And thou shall sing that song of mine ;
Which dates the storm that wreck’d my soul,
And fits me for the fiery wine.
Yea, often may I lift it up —
Keen misery hath made me strong !
E’re I can lose in this deep cup,
The thought of her I loved so long.

Drink Alan for I know full well,
Thy soul is blighted e’en like mine ;
And I’ve a tale, Heaven knows, to tell,
That might excuse excess in wine ;
But met we not, my friend, to quaff ?
Then let’s carouse both mad and strong ;
Yea let us teach our hearts to laugh,
At loss of things we loved so long.

What tho’ that laugh be wild and forc’d ?
Such cheat doth flatter woe like ours,
And that of all who’ve found, at most
Life’s promises but fading flowers,
But strains heard in a wand’ring gale,
Whilst sky is fair and day is young ;
Then why, my friend our checks so pale.

Why Alan that desponding smile ?
The wounded eagle highest flies !
Look but upon the world’s deep guile,
And the spell that bound us to it — dies;
Yet when I think of times, when we
Were light of mood as bridal song ;
I weep to know that heart’s so free,
Were doom’d to broken be, ere long.

Lift, lift again the potent bowl !
For like dense mists from ’rousing lake,
Dark dreams are steaming from my soul,
And gloomy thoughts begin to wake.
Go visions of a fleeted day,
Nor in my writhing memory throng ;
Since I’ve resolv’d to scoff away,
The thought of things I loved too long.

But you forget ! come strike the air,
Of that lone ode to an early grave ;
’Tis pleasing to my deep despair,
As the breeze to storm-begotten wave ;
And while it tells of a blighted soul,
That tried to smile upon its wrong,
I’ll madly pledge again the bowl,
To that false one I loved so long.

C. Harpur.

The Australian (Sydney, NSW), Tuesday 2 June 1835, page 4

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