When we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow –
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? –
With silence and tears.
Think’st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
Suffused in tears, implore to stay;
And heard unmoved thy plenteous sighs,
Which said far more than words can say?
Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o’erthrown,
Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb’d with deep sorrow as thine own.
But when our cheeks with anguish glow’d,
When thy sweet lips were join’d to mine,
The tears that from my eyelids flow’d
Were lost in those which fell from thine.
Thou couldst not feel my burning cheek,
Thy gushing tears had quench’d its flame;
And as thy tongue essay’d to speak,
In signs alone it breathed my name.
And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
In vain our fate in sighs deplore;
Remembrance only can remain, –
But that will make us weep the more.
Again, thou best beloved, adieu!
Ah! if thou canst, o’ercome regret;
Nor let thy mind past joys review,
Our only hope is to forget!
But passion most dissembles, yet betrays
Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky
Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays
Its workings through the vainly guarded eye,
And in whatever aspect it arrays
Itself, ‘t is still the same hypocrisy;
Coldness or anger, even disdain or hate,
Are masks it often wears, and still too late.
Oh, Love ! young Love ! bound in thy rosy band,
Let sage or cynic prattle as he will,
These hours, and only these, redeem
Life’s years of ill.
Truth, a gem which loves the deep.