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I Remember, I Remember

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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 vi'lets, 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,
And 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 heav'n
Than when I was a boy.

Source: Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)
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I Remember, I Remember

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  • An editor, publisher, poet, and humorist, Thomas Hood was born in London, the son of a bookseller. After his father died in 1811, Hood worked in a countinghouse until an illness forced him to move to Dundee, Scotland, to recover with relatives. In 1818 he returned to London to work as an engraver.
    In 1824 Hood married Jane Reynolds and collaborated on Odes and Addresses with his brother-in-law, J.H. Reynolds. Though he was known for his light verse and puns, Hood also depicted the working conditions of the poor in poems such as “Song of the Shirt,” about a seamstress, and “Song of the Labourer.” His publications include Whims and Oddities (1826 and 1827), National Tales (1827), a collection of stories, and The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies (1827). In the 1830s he traveled to continental Europe and lived with his family in Belgium, which provided inspiration for Up the Rhine...

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