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First hymn they the Father
Of all things; and then,
The rest of immortals,
The action of men.

The day in his hotness,
The strife with the palm;
The night in her silence,
The stars in their calm.


[Empedocles etc. 1852; jetzt Nr. 2 der Serie “Faded Leaves”.]

Each on his own strict line we move,
And some find death ere they find love;
So far apart their lives are thrown
From the twin soul which halves their own.


[Poems, Second Series 1855; jetzt Nr. 3 der Serie “Faded Leaves”.]

STOP!-- not to me, at this bitter departing,

Speak of the sure consolations of time!
Fresh be the wound, still-renew'd be its smarting,

So but thy image endure in its prime.

But, if the stedfast commandment of Nature

Wills that remembrance should always decayIf the loved form and the deep-cherish'd feature

Must, when unseen, from the soul fade away

Me let no half-effaced memories cumber!

Fled, fled at once, be all vestige of thee! Deep be the darkness and still be the slumber

Dead be the past and its phantoms to me!

Then, when we meet, and thy look strays towards me,

Scanning my face and the changes wrought there: Who, let me say, is this stranger regards me,

With the grey eyes, and the lovely brown hair ?

ON THE RHINE, (Empedocles etc. 1852; jetzt Nr. 4 der Serie "Faded Leaves".)

Vain is the effort to forget.
Some day I shall be cold, I know,
As is the eternal moonlit snow
Of the high Alps, to which I go-
But ah not yet, not yet!
Vain is the agony of grief.
'Tis true, indeed, an iron knot
Ties straitly up from mine thy lot,
And were it snapt-thou lov'st me not!
But is despair relief?

Awhile let me with thought have done.
And as this brimm'd unwrinkled Rhine,
And that far purple mountain-line,
Lie sweetly in the look divine
Of the slow-sinking sun;

So let me lie, and, calm as they,
Let beam upon my inward view
Those eyes of deep, soft, lucent hue-
Eyes too expressive to be blue,
Too lovely to be grey.

Ah, Quiet, all things feel thy balm!
Those blue hills too, this river's flow,
Were restless once, but long ago.
Tamed is their turbulent youthful glow;
Their joy is in their calm.

LONGING. (Empedocles etc. 1852; jetzt Nr. 5 der Serie “Faded Leaves”.]

COME to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth;
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say: My love! why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

ISOLATION. TO MARGUERITE. [Zuerst in der dritten Ausgabe (1857) der Poems, First Series, u. d. Tit. “To Marguerite”. Jetzt Nr. 4 des Zyklus “Switzerland”.]

We were apart; yet, day by day,
I bade my heart more constant be.

I bade it keep the world away,
And grow a home for only thee;
Nor fear'd but thy love likewise grew,
As mine, each day, more tried, more true.

The fault was grave! I might have known,
What far too soon, alas! I learn'd-
The heart can bind itself alone,
And faith may oft be unreturn'd.
Self-sway'd our feelings ebb and swell-
Thou lov'st no more ;-Farewell! Farewell!

Farewell!- and thou, thou lonely heart,
Which never yet without remorse
Even for a moment didst depart
From thy remote and sphered course
To haunt the place where passions reign-
Back to thy solitude again!

Back! with the conscious thrill of shame
Which Luna felt, that summer-night,
Flash through her pure immortal frame,
When she forsook the starry height
To hang over Endymion's sleep
Upon the pine-grown Latmian steep.

Yet she, chaste queen, had never proved
How vain a thing is mortal love,
Wandering in Heaven, far removed.
But thou hast long had place to prove
This truth-to prove, and make thine own:
“Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone.”

Or, if not quite alone, yet they
Which touch thee are unmating things-

Ocean and clouds and night and day;
Lorn autumns and triumphant springs;
And life, and others' joy and pain,
And love, if love, of happier men.

Of happier men-for they, at least,
Have dream'd two human hearts might blend
In one, and were through faith released
From isolation without end
Prolong’d; nor knew, although not less
Alone than thou, their loneliness.

TO MARGUERITE.—CONTINUED. [Zuerst in Empedocles etc. 1852 u. d. Tit.: To Marguerite ; 1857 umgenannt “Isolation”; 1869 trat es diesen Titel an das vorige ab und erhielt die obige Benennung. Jetzt Nr. 5 des Zyklus “Switzerland”.]

Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.
But when the moon their hollows lights,
And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour-
Oh! then a longing like despair
Is to their farthest caverns sent;
For surely once, they feel, we were
Parts of a single continent!
Now round us spreads the watery plain-
Oh might our marges meet again!

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