John Frederick William Herschel

On Burning a Parcel of Old MSS

Wrecks of forgotten thought, or disapproved,
Farewell! and as your smouldering flames ascend,
Read me a parting lesson. As the friend
Familiar once, but since less fondly loved,

(Dire spite of earthly chance), and wide removed
With earthquake of the heart! has ceased to blend
Warmth with my warmth, and sympathies extend,
Where mine are linked and locked! Had I but proved

Earlier your weakness! Yet not all in vain
Do I receive your warning. On I hie,
All unrepressed, though cautious; nor complain

Of faint essays in tottering infancy.
Enough, if cleansed at last from earthly stain,
My homeward march be firm, and pure my evening sky.

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