Letter of love so strangely thrilling
With all your countless wonder yet,
Though Time our heart's hot fires have mastered,
Bringing a pang of pained regret!
The while your blest receiver holds you,
His banished passions still rebel,
No longer reason sacrifices
His sentiment,--so then farewell!
Destroyed be this love-token treasured!
For if 'tis read when time has flown,
Deep in the buried soul 'twill waken
The torment vanished days have known.
At first but a light scorn arousing
For silly childishness,--at last
With fiery yearning overwhelming,
And jealousy for all the past.
O Thou, from whom a myriad letters
Speak with the breath of love to me,
Though my gaze rest on thee austerely,
Yet, yet,--I cannot part with thee!
Time has revealed with bitter clearness
How little thou with truth wert blessed,
How like a child my own behaviour--
Yet, dear to me I still must save
This flower scentless, without colour,
From off my manhood's early grave!