An upper chamber in a darkened house

Mr Tuckerman is another poet I have only recently come across, which in a way is not surprising, because it seems as if his merit has struggled to become apparent. Frederick Goddard Tuckerman was born in 1821 in Boston, Massachusetts; his family were quite distinguished, a brother was a well-known botanist, another was a composer, and a cousin was a writer. Frederick became a lawyer but gave it up and became somewhat of a recluse, more interested in nature than society. However he did travel, and when he visited England he met an became friends with Tennyson. He married, but his wife died shortly after giving birth to their third child, and it seems he never got over her loss. He died in 1873.

An upper chamber in a darkened house

An upper chamber in a darkened house,
Where, ere his footsteps reached ripe manhood’s brink,
Terror and anguish were his cup to drink,–
I cannot rid the thought, nor hold it close;
But dimly dream upon that man alone;–
Now though the autumn clouds most softly pass;
The cricket chides beneath the doorstep stone,
And greener than the season grows the grass.
Nor can I drop my lids, nor shade my brows,
But there he stands beside the lifted sash;
And with a swooning of the heart, I think
Where the black shingles slope to meet the boughs,
And–scattered on the roof like smallest snows–
The tiny petals of the mountain-ash.

Frederick Goddard Tuckerman 1821-1873

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