I am desolate,
Bereft by bitter fate;
No cure beneath the skies can save me,
No cure on sea or strand,
Nor in any human hand—
But hers, this paining wound who gave me.
I know not night from day,
Nor thrush from cuckoo gray,
Nor cloud from the sun that shines above thee—
Nor freezing cold from heat,
Nor friend—if friend I meet—
I but know—heart's love!—I love thee.
Love that my Life began,
Love, that will close life's span,
Love that grows ever by love-giving:
Love, from the first to last,
Love, till all life be passed,
Love that loves on after living!
This love I gave to thee,
For pain love has given me,
Love that can fail or falter never—
But, spite of earth above,
Guards thee, my Flower of love,
Thou marvel-maid of life for ever.
Bear all things evidence,
Thou art my very sense,
My past, my present, and my morrow!
All else on earth is crossed,
All in the world is lost—
Lost all—but the great love-gift of sorrow.
My life not life, but death;
My voice not voice—a breath;
No sleep, no quiet—thinking ever
On thy fair phantom face,
Queen eyes and royal grace,
Lost loveliness that leaves me never.
I pray thee grant but this—
From thy dear mouth one kiss,
That the pang of death-despair pass over:
Or bid make ready nigh
The place where I shall lie,
For aye, thy leal and silent lover.