Arts & Culture

A Collection of Nostalgic Poems (To Be Read with Certain Edits)

In solemn (and sappy) remembrance of all we are losing, I have compiled some of the most romantic, tear-inducing poems of the past centuries.  Of course, they have been modified slightly to fit the occasion.  Some of them more so than others.  

All edits, strikethroughs, and brackets, are my own.  I apologize for where I could not maintain the original rhyme and meter.  Sure, I may have taken some creative liberties…but it’s all in the name of helping readers make connections between historical poetry and their own lives.  One might even say it’s an experiment in metaphors.

Oh, for the days gone by!  How we will miss these years of ant comics, serial stories, and virtual camaraderie!  (That’s your cue to cry, by the way.)


The Old Familiar Faces by Charles Lamb

I have had playmates [columnists], I have had companions,

In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days,

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces [columns].


I have been laughing, I have been carousing [reading],

Drinking [reading] late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies [online classmates]

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces [columns].


I loved a love once, fairest among women [articles];

Closed are her doors [tabs] on me, I must not see her —

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces [columns].


I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;

Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;

Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces [columns].


Ghost-like, I paced [clicked] round the haunts [pages] of my childhood.

Earth [clay] seemed a desert I was bound to traverse,

Seeking to find the old familiar faces [columns].


Friend of my bosom [classmate], thou more than [hardly] a brother,

Why wert not thou born in my father’s dwelling? [Didst thou not comment on some of their articles?]

So might we talk of the old familiar faces [columns] —


How some they have died [graduated], and some they have left me [classes],

And some are taken from me; all are departed;

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces [columnists].


From The Princess: “Tears, Idle Tears” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,

Tears from the depth of some divine despair

Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,

In looking on the happy Autumn-fields [Forums posts],

And thinking of the [clay’s] days that are no more.


         Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,

That brings our friends up from the underworld,

Sad as the last which reddens over one

That sinks with all we love below the verge;

So sad, so fresh, the [clay’s] days that are no more.


         Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns

The earliest pipe of half-awaken’d birds

To dying ears, when unto dying eyes

The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;

So sad, so strange,  the [clay’s] days that are no more


         Dear as remember’d kisses after death,

And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign’d

On lips that are for others; deep as love,

Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;

O Death in Life, the [clay’s] days that are no more!


“Break, Break, Break” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break [click, click, click],

         On thy cold gray stones [same blue links], O Sea [students]!

And I would that my tongue could utter

         The thoughts that arise in me.


O, well for the fisherman’s boy [forum poster],

         That he shouts with his sister at play [plays RPGs without care]!

O, well for the sailor lad [Gp7 ghoster],

         That he sings in his boat on the bay [with his friends on a dare]!


And the stately ships [cursor clicks] go on

         To their haven under the hill [pencil as they will];

But O for the touch [words] of a vanish’d hand [columnist],

         And the sound of a voice [mouse] that is still!


Break, break, break [click, click, click]

         At the foot of thy crags [assignments tab], O Sea [students]!

But the tender grace [easy access] of a day [clay] that is dead

         Will never come back to me.



“The Last Rose of Summer” by Thomas Moore

‘Tis the last rose of Summer [visitor of clay],

   Left blooming [reading] alone;

All her lovely companions

   Are faded and gone;

No flower [writer] of her kindred,

   No rose-bud [author] is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes [tell funny stories]

  Or give sigh for sigh [make readers cry]!


I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one,

   To pine on the stem [web];

Since the lovely are sleeping [leaving],

   Go sleep [leave] thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter [bid thee]

   Thy leaves o’er the bed [to close off this tab]

Where thy mates of the garden [long-treasured website]

   Lie scentless [Lies inactive] and dead.


So soon may I follow,

   When friendships decay,

And from Love’s [clay’s] shining circle

   The gems [columnists] drop away!

When true hearts lie withered,

   And fond ones are flown,

Oh! who would inhabit

   This bleak world [website] alone?


I hope you enjoyed my renditions– all in the name of educating you on classic poetry, of course. All readers had better be sobbing loudly by the end of this article (or else you must not really love clay). If you want to edit your own favorite poems (to show your superior devotion), I would love to read them!



Photo Credit:



Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,

Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “From the Princess: Tears, Idle Tears by Alfred,…” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,

Lamb, Charles. “The Old Familiar Faces by Charles Lamb.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,

Moore, Thomas. “The Last Rose of Summer by Thomas Moore.”, Academy of American Poets,


  1. These poems are so appropriate and the words you substituted bring them so close to my heart. “Click, Click, Click” was my favorite rendition.

  2. Evangelina (who is extremely sad rn)

    I almost died from the sadness rn. wait, why do you keep mentioning forums though? is that connected to clay somehow?

    • If clay represents all that is ending and loved, forums represents all that continues in happy chaos, even if it isn’t directly connected to clay.

  3. This was so touching! I’m so sad that clay is closing. i was hoping to join next year! Is there any chance that clay will open again someday?

  4. These…these are beautiful. Though it may be a prank, I applaud you for this. XD

  5. I feel like this is a prank…it must be a prank…😭😭😭

  6. Glad to appear in your poem.