Alfred Austin

Sorrow’s Importunity

Alfred Austin DL was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896 upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.






When Sorrow first came wailing to my door,
April rehearsed the madrigal of May;
And, as I ne'er had seen her face before,
I kept on singing, and she went her way.

When next came Sorrow, life was winged with scent
Of glistening laurel and full-blossoming bay:
I asked, but understood not, what she meant,
Offered her flowers, and she went her way.

When yet a third time Sorrow came, we met
In the ripe silence of an Autumn day:
I gave her fruit I had gathered, and she ate,
Then seemed to go unwillingly away.

When last came Sorrow, around barn and byre
Wind-carven snow, the Year's white sepulchre, lay.
``Come in,'' I said, ``and warm you by the fire.''
And there she sits, and never goes away.

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