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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 thee.
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.
ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS BROKEN.
ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain ? Have years of care for thine and thee
Alike been all employ'd in vain ?
Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
And every fragment dearer grown,
Since he who wears thee, feels thou art
A fitter emblem of his own.
[This poem and the following were written some years ago.]
FEW years have pass'd since thou and I
Were firmest friends, at least in name,
And childhood's gay sincerity
Preserved our feelings long the same.
But now, like me, too well thou know'st
What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have loved the most
Too soon forget they loved at all.
And such the change the heart displays,
So frail is early friendship's reign,
A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's,
Will view thy mind estranged again.
If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart; The fault was Nature's fault, not thine, Which made thee fickle as thou art.
As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
So human feelings ebb and flow;
And who would in a breast confide
Where stormy passions ever glow?
It boots not, that together bred,
Our childish days were days of joy;
My spring of life has quickly fled;
Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy.
And when we bid adieu to youth,
Slaves to the specious world's control,
We sigh a long farewell to truth;
That world corrupts the noblest soul.
Ah, joyous season! when the mind Dares all things boldly but to lie; When thought ere spoke is unconfined, And sparkles in the placid eye.
Not so in Man's maturer years,
When Man himself is but a tool;
When interest sways our hopes and fears,
And all must love and hate by rule.