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.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry – Thomas Hood

  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


  2. 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!


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