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James Thomson
1834 - 1882


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Once in a saintly passion
The fire that filled my heart of old

 

ONCE in a saintly passion
I cried with desperate grief,

"O Lord, my heart is black with guile,
Of sinners I am chief."
Then stooped my guardian angel
And whispered from behind,
"Vanity, my little man,
You're nothing of the kind."


THE fire that filled my heart of old
Gave luster while it burned;
Now only ashes gray and cold
Are in its silence urned.
Ah! better was the furious flame,
The splendor with the smart;
I never cared for the singer's fame
But, oh! for the singer's heart
Once more--
The burning fulgent heart!

No love, no hate, no hope, no fear,
No anguish and no mirth;
Thus life extends from year to year,
A flat of sullen dearth.
Ah! life's blood creepeth cold and tame,
Life's thought plays no new part;
I never cared for the singer's fame,
But, oh! for the singer's heart
Once more--
The bleeding passionate heart!

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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman