Ballad: Sigh On, Sad Heart, For Love’s Eclipse by Thomas Hood

Sigh on, sad heart, for Love’s eclipse
And Beauty’s fairest queen,
Though ’tis not for my peasant lips
To soil her name between:
A king might lay his sceptre down,
But I am poor and nought,
The brow should wear a golden crown
That wears her in its thought.

The diamonds glancing in her hair,
Whose sudden beams surprise,
Might bid such humble hopes beware
The glancing of her eyes;
Yet looking once, I look’d too long,
And if my love is sin,
Death follows on the heels of wrong,
And kills the crime within.

Her dress seem’d wove of lily leaves,
It was so pure and fine,
O lofty wears, and lowly weaves,–
But hodden-gray is mine;
And homely hose must step apart,
Where garter’d princes stand,
But may he wear my love at heart
That wins her lily hand!

Alas! there’s far from russet frieze
To silks and satin gowns,
But I doubt if God made like degrees
In courtly hearts and clowns.
My father wrong’d a maiden’s mirth,
And brought her cheeks to blame,
And all that’s lordly of my birth
Is my reproach and shame!

‘Tis vain to weep,–’tis vain to sigh,
‘Tis vain, this idle speech,
For where her happy pearls do lie,
My tears may never reach;
Yet when I’m gone, e’en lofty pride
May say, of what has been,
His love was nobly born and died,
Though all the rest was mean!

My speech is rude,–but speech is weak
Such love as mine to tell,
Yet had I words, I dare not speak,
So, Lady, fare thee well;
I will not wish thy better state
Was one of low degree,
But I must weep that partial fate
Made such a churl of me.

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