Charlotte Smith

Charlotte thought her life would be too long
And now she has been dead two-hundred years.
I linger on her words, like still-wet tears
Remaining though the eyes are dry, are gone
Into a place sans sight and sense,
A not-place that her longing never knew,
For though that longed-for peace she linked thereto,
There’s not a piece of it in nothingness,
No way to ease your head when it grows tense
Only with worms, stringing the skull from crack to crack
Where once electric currents ran amok—
And all to make you long for rest, no less.
Ah! if for peace and rest you have a thought,
A void should be avoided and not sought.

Sad occasion dear

We sociopathic poets! Of all of us,
Who would not kill for “Lycidas”?
Milton himself, although a friend to King,
For its dear sake would have him drown again.

(But I don’t ask that tragedy inspire—
It is enough if it lets me retire
Into the peace misfortune brings
When it befalls my family and friends.)