Alec de Candole
Proficiscienti - Poem by Alec de Candole
NOW God be with you wheresoe'er you go;
God knows I would that I could go instead;
My little worthless life — dear friend, you know
How little loss it were if I were dead.
But you tune songs such as I fain would sing,
You have dared such things as would that I could do ;
In music, action, suffering, everything.
My sum is still a moiety of you.
Go, since you must, those strange and fearful ways.
Where death screams loud in hurtling of a shell ;
Would I might too ! — But though my body stays.
My spirit goes with you to the heart of hell.
For souls once stamped with love's immortal brand
Eternally inseparable stand.
Full merrily you went ; yet my heart yearned
That you should go from England once again,
To tread the paths of death and danger spurned,
The darkling troublous ways of fear and pain.
Happier I was myself to go away ;
For then the man that went, perchance to die,
By life and death's grim borderland to stray,
Was not a friend of mine, but merely I.
Call me not fool or braggart, if I know
That love awaked, in ev'n so poor a heart
As mine, desires and pants and suffers so.
To serve what is of its own self a part ;
Nor even death can sever loves so sweet ;
If not on earth, beyond it, we shall meet.
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