Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.
Ah me! What a dreary day!
Sad and deep the wind outside
Mutters many a low refrain,
Drifts the dead leaves far and wide,
Hurls the thick clouds 'cross the sky,
Scattering torrents in their train;
Drenching flowers that lowly lie;
And where'er my sad, sad eye
Pierces, all is gloomy, damp, and drear,
And no sound falls on my dreaming ear,
But the drip, drip of the rain,
And that weirdly low refrain,
And, anon, an angry gust
Splashing 'gainst the window pane.
Begloomed, and bereaved,
Wan Nature bends low o'er her dead, lorn and grieved,
Mournfully drooping, weeping, lone;
Uttering many a dreesome moan;
Aimlessly rocking to and fro,
To the stern wind's mumbling flow,
While the pelting drops of rain
On her palsied lips intone.
Choking gutter, belching drain,
Muddy pool and rindle swell
With the torrent-tears of rain,
Which the clouds, in grief and pain,
Weep o'er Nature in her dotage fell —
Shed in sympathy, and cannot quell!
And the landscape, bald and grey,
Sits and broods the livelong day;
Mopes beneath the eerie spell,
Which the sober,
In the dripping air has hung,
Round the droning hills has flung.
Vanished is the gay sunshine,
Fled the song birds o'er the brine;
Is silent, dumb!
Hushed the murmur and the song:
Summer glories every one
All are buried, withered, gone!
Faces are shadowed, erst sunny and glad,
Moody, pre-occupied, peevish, or sad;
The comfortless beggar limps shivering by;
The flocks creep close to the sheltering side;
The fowls, one-legged, in the warm nooks hide,
And each, with its head awry,
Watches, with bead-like eye,
The huge clouds scud o'er the ink-black sky.
And still the refrain of the wind, well-a-day!
Moans low through the key-hole, and seemeth to say —
"Thus all that is sunny is dashed with shade;
And all that is earth-born is doomed to fade!"
Ah me! Alack! What a dreary day!
Last modified 4 September 2002