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SWIFTER far than summer's flight –
Art thou come and gone
I am left alone, alone.
The swallow summer comes again
To fly with thee, false as thou. -
Sunny leaves from any bough.
Lilies for a bridal bed
a Roses for a matron's head Violets for a maiden dead
Pansies let my flowers be:
Waste one hope, one fear for me.
Oh, world! oh, life ! oh, time!
Trembling at that where I had stood before ;
No more — 0, never more !
Out of the day and night
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar,
O, never more !
TO EDWARD WILLIAMS.
THE serpent is shut out from paradise.
The wounded deer must seek the herb no more
In which its heart-cure lies :
The widowed dove must cease to haunt a bower Like that from which its mate with feignèd sighs
Fled in the April hour.
I too must seldom seek again Near happy friends a mitigated pain.
Of hatred I am proud, — with scorn content;
Indifference, that once hurt me, now is grown
But, not to speak of love, pity alone Can break a spirit already more than bent.
The miserable one
Turns the mind's poison into food, Its medicine is tears, — its evil good.
Therefore, if now I see you seldomer,
Dear friends, dear friend I know that I only fly
Your looks, because they stir
Griefs that should sleep, and hopes that cannot die : The very comfort that they minister
I scarce can bear, yet I,
So deeply is the arrow gone,
When I return to my cold home, you ask
Why I am not as I have ever been.
You spoil me for the task
Of acting a forced part in life's dull scene, Of wearing on my brow the idle mask
Of author, great or mean,
In the world's carnival. I sought Peace thus, and but in you I found it not.
Full half an hour, to-day, I tried my lot
With various flowers, and every one still said,
loves me not."
If it meant fortune, fame, or peace of thought
If it meant, — but I dread
To speak what you may know too well: Still there was truth in the sad oracle.
The crane o'er seas and forests seeks her home ;
No bird so wild but has its quiet nest,
When it no more would roam ;
The sleepless billows on the ocean's breast Break like a bursting heart, and die in foam,
And thus at length find rest.
Doubtless there is a place of peace Where
weak heart and all its throbs will cease.
I asked her, yesterday, if she believed
That I had resolution. One who had
Would ne'er have thus relieved
His heart with words, - but what his judgment bade Would do, and leave the scorner unrelieved.
These verses are too sad
To send to you, but that I know, Happy yourself, you feel another's woe.