Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

(1803-1873 / England)

Salve Eternum - Poem by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

I.
Farewell! O soul departed!
Farewell! O sacred urn!
Bereaved and broken-hearted,
To earth the mourners turn.
To the dim and dreary shore,
Thou art gone our steps before!
But thither the swift Hours lead us,
And thou dost but a while precede us,
Salve-salve!
Loved urn, and thou solemn cell,
Mute ashes!-farewell, farewell!
Salve-salve!

II.
Ilicet-ire licet-
Ah, vainly would we part!
Thy tomb is the faithful heart.
About evermore we bear thee;
For who from the heart can tear thee?
Vainly we sprinkle o'er us
The drops of the cleansing stream;
And vainly bright before us
The lustral fire shall beam.
For where is the charm expelling
Thy thought from its sacred dwelling?
Our griefs are thy funeral feast,
And Memory thy mourning priest.
Salve-salve!

III.
Ilicet-ire licet!
The spark from the hearth is gone
Wherever the air shall bear it;
The elements take their own-
The shadows receive thy spirit.
It will soothe thee to feel our grief,
As thou glid'st by the Gloomy River!
If love may in life be brief,
In death it is fixed for ever.
Salve-salve!
In the hall which our feasts illume,
The rose for an hour may bloom;
But the cypress that decks the tomb-
The cypress is green for ever!
Salve-salve!

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010



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