One wept whose only child was dead,
New-born, ten years ago.
"Weep not; he is in bliss," they said.
She answered, "Even so,
The child not yet is lulled to rest.
Too young a nurse, the slender Night
So laxly holds him to her breast
That throbs with flight.
I must not think of thee; and, tired yet strong,
I shun the love that lurks in all delight--
The love of thee--and in the blue heaven's height,
And in the dearest passage of a song.
Listen, and when thy hand this paper presses,
O time-worn woman, think of her who blesses
What thy thin fingers touch, with her caresses.
My heart shall be thy garden. Come, my own,
Into thy garden; thine be happy hours
Among my fairest thoughts, my tallest flowers,
From root to crowning petal, thine alone.
O Spring, I know thee! Seek for sweet surprise
In the young children's eyes.
But I have learnt the years, and know the yet
She walks-the lady of my delight-
A shepherdess of sheep.
Her flocks are thoughts. She keeps them white;
She keeps them from the steep;
Farewell to one now silenced quite,
Sent out of hearing, out of sight,--
My friend of friends, whom I shall miss,
He is not banished, though, for this,--
On London fell a clearer light;
Caressing pencils of the sun
Defined the distances, the white
Houses transfigured one by one,