truth came borne with bier and pall,
I felt it, when I sorrow’d most,
’Tis better to have loved and lost,
never to have loved at all–
true in word, and tried in deed,
Demanding, so to bring relief
To this which is our common grief,
kind of life is that I lead;
whether trust in things above
Be dimm’d of sorrow, or sustain’d;
And whether love for him have drain’d
capabilities of love;
words have virtue such as draws
A faithful answer from the breast,
Thro’ light reproaches, half exprest,
loyal unto kindly laws.
blood an even tenor kept,
Till on mine ear this message falls,
That in Vienna’s fatal walls
finger touch’d him, and he slept.
great Intelligences fair
That range above our mortal state,
In circle round the blessed gate,
and gave him welcome there;
led him thro’ the blissful climes,
And show'd him in the fountain fresh
All knowledge that the sons of flesh
gather in the cycled times.
I remained, whose hopes were dim,
Whose life, whose thoughts were little worth,
To wander on a darkened earth,
all things round me breathed of him.
friendship, equal poised control,
O heart, with kindliest motion warm,
O sacred essence, other form,
solemn ghost, O crowned soul!
none could better know than I,
How much of act at human hands
The sense of human will demands
which we dare to live or die.
way my days decline,
I felt and feel, tho’ left alone,
His being working in mine own,
footsteps of his life in mine;
life that all the Muses decked
With gifts of grace, that might express
All comprehensive tenderness,
so my passion hath not swerved
To works of weakness, but I find
An image comforting the mind,
in my grief a strength reserved.
the imaginative woe,
That loved to handle spiritual strife,
Diffused the shock thro’ all my life,
in the present broke the blow.
pulses therefore beat again
For other friends that once I met;
Nor can it suit me to forget
mighty hopes that make us men.
woo your love: I count it crime
To mourn for any overmuch;
I, the divided half of such
friendship as had master’d Time;
masters Time indeed, and is
Eternal, separate from fears:
The all-assuming months and years
take no part away from this:
Summer on the steaming floods,
And Spring that swells the narrow brooks,
And Autumn, with a noise of rooks,
gather in the waning woods,
every pulse of wind and wave
Recalls, in change of light or gloom,
My old affection of the tomb,
my prime passion in the grave:
old affection of the tomb,
A part of stillness, yearns to speak:
‘Arise, and get thee forth and seek
friendship for the years to come.
watch thee from the quiet shore;
Thy spirit up to mine can reach;
But in dear words of human speech
two communicate no more.’
I, ‘Can clouds of nature stain
The starry clearness of the free?
How is it? Canst thou feel for me
painless sympathy with pain?’
lightly does the whisper fall;
‘’Tis hard for thee to fathom this;
I triumph in conclusive bliss,
that serene result of all.’
hold I commerce with the dead;
Or so methinks the dead would say;
Or so shall grief with symbols play
pining life be fancy-fed.
looking to some settled end,
That these things pass, and I shall prove
A meeting somewhere, love with love,
crave your pardon, O my friend;
not so fresh, with love as true,
I, clasping brother-hands aver
I could not, if I would, transfer
whole I felt for him to you.
which be they that hold apart
The promise of the golden hours?
First love, first friendship, equal powers,
marry with the virgin heart.
mine, that cannot but deplore,
That beats within a lonely place,
That yet remembers his embrace,
at his footstep leaps no more,
heart, tho’ widow’d, may not rest
Quite in the love of what is gone,
But seeks to beat in time with one
warms another living breast.
take the imperfect gift I bring,
Knowing the primrose yet is dear,
The primrose of the later year,
not unlike to that of Spring.