Eos: An Epic of the Dawn, and Other Poems

By Nicholas Flood Davin


 

FAREWELL.


 

All the sorest pangs that ever
    Preyed within my bosom’s cell,
Were as nothing to the sorrow
    Of our first and last farewell.

Hope was strong; but hope is blighted;
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    Her once bright eyes dimm’d with tears;
And the shadow of her sorrow
    Darkens o’er the coming years.

For tho’ lighter loves have loiter’d
    Round the portal—by the wall—
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Thine alone hath ever enter’d
    In the holiest of all.

No rapt devotee adoring
    At some saint’s ascetic shrine,
Needs to cherish feelings holier
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    Than for thee were ever mine;

And perhaps here is the secret
    That the spell has been so strong,
That you first woke noble feelings
    That had slept too sound and long, [Page 91]
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And thus taught the soul to listen
    Glad, for graver tones and sweet,
Than the wanton Circean dirges
    Wild, that swell down passion’s street;

And a dawn of nobler doing
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    Rose before the jaded eyes,
And a star of purer promise
    Sparkled in serener skies;

And the long long hidden fountains,
    Of a noble boyhood’s dreams,
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Broke their subterranean fetters,
    Filled the desert heart with streams.

Ah my God! what ground for marvel,
    If belief grew strong each hour,
That you came as sent by heaven,
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    To give thought and life new power?

But tho’ past the hope of winning
    Constant strength from constancy,
Yet will, in the heart’s sad gloaming,
    Live refracted rays of thee.
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Aye, and tho’ I take as final,
    This our fatal last farewell,
Thoughts now sweet, now sad, will quicken,
    Feelings deep and tender swell,

When the wilful memory wanders
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    Wild, as wander oft she will,
Ghosts of hopes from burial calling,
    Hopes that you alone could kill. [Page 92]

But farewell! my heart is breaking,
    Love, resolve may render less,
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But that morning dawns in darkness,
    I released from tenderness.

So farewell! the poor heart lingers
    Near her dead—hangs o’er the bier:
“Draw her thence; let go the funeral;
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    She is but a hinderance here.”

And the dead from sight is buried;
    Whips crack loud; men go their ways;
But the mourner, in her chamber,
    Weeps alone the weary days. [Page 93]
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