I have loved once.
A maiden happy in possession of such charms
As win the admiration of impulsive youth
First stole my heart. Reclining in her arms
Yet all too soon I learned the sweetest truth
Of love, in its first splendour bursting o'er my soul,
Too soon the ecstasies of tender passion proved,
Nor dreamt I then while greatly I was loved
What future pain I'd yet have to condole
O headstrong boy!
Or heart developed far beyond thy verdant years!
The warmth and depth of thy pure, all-abiding love
Will lead thee sadly through the vale of tears.
Sorrowing long, calm comfort from Above
Alone will heal the wound now rankling in thy breast;
Drink deep of Love Divine, nor deem the star yet set
On thy young life, full laden with regret –
Once full of hope. For thee there yet is rest!
O dearest love!
To thee be there no blame. Of thee no hard word said.
Thou lovedst long and well – a hopeless sort of love;
Thy better wisdom told thee, as then led
Thy own boy, innocent as any dove –
Tho' deeply pierced with Cupid's poignant dart –
Through all the mazes of his mystic art,
That thy sweet love and mine, could have but one sad ending,
Time banishing Romance, and Love with Time contending.
O roseate hues!
Beauteous, in bright simplicity, our schemes
Gaudy, but empty, all our love-sick dreams!
Doom'd not to tread Life's joyous path together
As lightly then we trod o'er blooming heather.
Far, far apart our different lots are cast,
And sad to me that then we interwove
Young heart with younger heart in knots so fast
That separation means but blighted love.
O cherished memories!
Backward my thoughts dart through many a year
Where gladness was once, there is sorrowing here.
Mourning forever the hopes that are dead
And have left but despairing to reign in their stead.
Years that are wasted how vainly I mourn
While drifting away to my mystical bourne.
Broken vows haunt me, and broken hearts too,
Pallid lips murmur of words oft untrue
Thy love has long since gone
And mine is fading fast,
Thoughts sadly tinged yet sweet
I have of that strange past.
Pining I drift away
To my mystical bourne,
Hopeless I live, and faint,
My chief joy is to mourn.
Mourning the joys that are dead,
The heart that can no more beat
In quick response to my own,
As I claimed your love, O sweet!
I called you my very own
Nor my passion did you deny
As folded fondly in your arms
I was often wont to lie.
And who but we can know
The intenseness of that pleasure
When lip met lip and in long embrace
We firmly clasped each other?
How you entered into my joys
Or wept at my school trouble
And trippingly to cheer my soul
Ran gaily through the stubble.
My hand in yours the while
My heart most wildly beating
Nor stopped we e'en to yield to each
Our usual tender greeting,
Till past the field we came
To our own heather bower
Where in low and loving converse
We whiled the passing hour.
And shouts of boys at play
Assailed the unwilling ear,
Why they so madly gay,
And I so sober here?
Or why that flush subdued
That hotness on my cheek –
The mad-cap, giddy-headed boy
Now passionately meek?
Outward delights for me
No more could have a charm,
My chief delight now to recline
My head upon your arm
Warm pressings of the hand
And warmer still embrace,
The longing yearning of the eyes,
The gaze into the face.
Lip often joined to lip,
While chirrup sweet infuses
Newness of life into our love,
Assurance else refuses.
No need now to renew
Pledges of love long given
The glance itself is proof enough
Of earth still turn'd to heaven.
For us the sky is clear
No dark thoughts of the morrow
Flit o'er our horizon
Changing our joy to sorrow.
Distrust is far removed
And all is simple faith
Clinging to each other's love
And weaving fond a wreath.
Of sweet affection tried
Innocent round heart and heart,
We bound ourselves together
In the bond of Cupid's art.