Page images
[ocr errors]

"Tis silent all!-but on my ear
The well-remember'd echoes thrill,
I hear a voice I would not hear,

A voice that now might well be still.
Iet oft my doubting soul 'twill shake;

Even slumber owns its gentle tone,
Till consciousness will vainly wake

To listen, though the dream be flown.
Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,

Thou art but now a lovely dream;
A star that trembled o'er the deep,

Then turn'd from earth its tender beam.
But he who through life's dreary way

Must pass when heaven is veil'd in wrath,
Will long lament the vanish'd ray

That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.

December 6, 1831


ONE struggle more, and I am free

From pangs that rend my heart in twain;
One last long sigh to love and thee,
Then back to busy life again.
It suits me well to mingle now

With things that never pleased before :
Though every joy is fled below,

What future grief can touch me more?
Then bring me wine, the banquet bring!
Man was not form'd to live alone;
I'll be that light, unmeaning thing,

That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It was not thus in days more dear,

It never would have been, but thou
East fled, and left me lonely here;

Thou'rt nothing-all are nothing now.
In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!

The smile that sorrow fain would wear
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath,

Like roses o'er a sepulchre.
Though gay companious o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill,
Though pleasure fires the maddening soul,
The heart-the heart is lonely still!
On many a lone and lovely night

It soothed to gaze upon the sky;
For then I deem'd the heavenly light

Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye:
And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon,

When sailing o'er the Ægean wave,
"Now Thyrza gazes on that moon'

Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!

When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed, And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, "Tis comfort still," I faintly said,

"That Thyrza cannot know my pains:'
Liko freedom to the time-worn slave,
A boon 'tis idle then to give,
Relenting Nature vainly gave

My life, when Thyrza ceased to live!

My Thyrza's pledge in better days,

When love and life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze! How tinged by time with sorrow's hue! The heart that gave itself with thee

Is silent-ah, were mine as still! Though cold as e'en the dead can be,

It feels, it sickens with the chill.

[ocr errors]

Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token! Though painful, welcome to my breast! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken,

Or break the heart to which thou'rt press'd Time tempers love, but not removes,

More hallow'd when its hope is fled : Oh! what are thousand living loves

To that which cannot quit the dead?


WHEN Time, or soon or late, shall bring The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead, Oblivion may thy languid wing

Wave gently o'er my dying bed!

No band of friends or heirs be there,

To weep or wish the coming blow; No maiden, with dishevell'd hair,

To feel, or feign, decorous woe. But silent let me sink to earth,

With no officious mourners near; I would not mar one hour of mirth,

Nor startle friendship with a tear. Yet Love, if Love in such an hour

Could nobly check its useless signs, Might then exert its latest power

In her who lives and him who dies.

"Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggles past,

E'en Pain itself should smile on thee,

But vain the wish-for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
And woman's tears, produced at will,
Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan;
For thousands Death hath ceased to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.

"Ay, but to die, and go," alas!
Where all have gone, and all must go!
To be the nothing that I was

Ere born to life and living woe.

Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
'Tis something better not to be.


"Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse !'

AND thou art dead, as young and fair,
As aught of mortal birth;

And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to Earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,

There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;

There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:

It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell,
"Tis Nothing that I loved so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,

Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.

The love where Death has set his seal,

Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,

Nor falsehood disavow:

And, what were worse, thou canst not seo
Or wrong, er change, or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:

The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,
Shall never Lre be thine.

The silence of that dreamless sleep

I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine

That all those charms have pass'd away;
I might have watch'd through long decay.

[blocks in formation]


IF sometimes in the haunts of men

Thine image from my breast may fade, The lonely hour presents again

The semblance of thy gentle shade: And now that sad and silent hour

Thus much of thee can still restore, And sorrow unobserved may pour

The plaint she dare not speak before.

Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile

I waste one thought I owe to thee,
And, self-condemn'd, appear to smile,
Unfaithful to thy memory!
Nor deem that memory less dear,

That then I seem not to repine;
I would not fools should overhear
One sigh that should be wholly thine.

If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,

It is not drain'd to banish care;
The cup must hold a deadlier draught,
That brings a Lethe for despair.
And could Oblivion set my soul

From all her troubled visions free, I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl

That drown'd a single thought of thes.

For wert thou vanish'd from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn?
And who would then remain behind

To honour thine abandon'd Urn?
No, no-it is my sorrow's pride

That last dear duty to fulfil; Though all the world forget beside,

"Tis meet that I remember still.

For well I know, that such had been
Thy gentle care for him, who now
Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,

Where none regarded him, but thou:
And, oh! I feel in that was given

A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.

March 14, 1812

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »