Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Trevylyan to Gertrude


As leaves left darkling in the flush of day,
When glints the glad sun checkering o'er the tree,
I see the green earth brightening in the ray,
Which only casts a shadow upon me!


What are the beams, the flowers, the glory, all
Life's glow and gloss, the music and the bloom,
When every sun but speeds the Eternal Pall,
And Time is Death that dallies with the Tomb?


And yet—-­oh yet, so young, so pure!—-­the while
Fresh laugh the rose-hues round youth's morning sky,
That voice, those eyes, the deep love of that smile,
Are they not soul—­all soul—­and can they die?


Are there the words 'No more' for thoughts like ours?
Must the bark sink upon so soft a wave?
Hath the short summer of thy life no flowers
But those which bloom above thine early grave?


O God! and what is life, that I should live?
(Hath not the world enow of common clay?)
And she—­the Rose—­whose life a soul could give
To the void desert, sigh its sweets away?


And I that love thee thus, to whom the air,
Blest by thy breath, makes heaven where’er it be,
Watch thy cheek wane, and smile away despair,
Lest it should dim one hour yet left to Thee.


Still let me conquer self; oh, still conceal
By the smooth brow the snake that coils below;
Break, break my heart! it comforts yet to feel
That she dreams on, unwakened by my woe!


Hushed, where the Star's soft angel loves to keep
Watch o'er their tide, the morning waters roll;
So glides my spirit,-—­darkness in the deep,
But o'er the wave the presence of thy soul! 

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