James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

August 25


By Charles Edward Russell (1860–1941)

  • Thomas Chatterton, an English poet of extraordinary precocity, committed suicide in London at the early age of seventeen, August 25, 1770.

  • HE went his way to rest with weary feet,

    Home-turning as one would that long had strayed

    In stoniest pathways, for his love repaid

    With mocking laughter, for his singing sweet

    With fast-shut door and wind-swept echoing street.

    Tired eyes and hopeless heart to the great shade

    Crept beaten back at last but unafraid,

    And stilled were wings for a sodden world too fleet.

    He went his way; and we, in whose charmed ears

    Live still the sound and throbbing of his song,

    But for this picture of his darkening years

    Might nothing know how bruised and baffled long

    His soul soared singing to the brightest spheres

    From that salt gulf of bitterness and wrong.