Soon the darkness will be past and gone;
Soon the silence spread its noiseless wing;
Sleep will strike its tent and hurry on;
Life commence its weary wandering,
Ah me! its weary, weary wandering.
Not the sighing of my lonely heart,
Not the heavy grief-clouds hanging o’er,
Not its silence can with night depart:
Gloom hangs o’er it ever, evermore,
Ah me! darkness ever, evermore.
Where art thou, oh! my Beautiful? Afar
I seek thee sadly, till the day is done,
And o’er the splendour of the setting sun,
Cold, calm, and silvery, floats the evening star;
Where art thou? Ah! where art thou, hid in light
That haunts me, yet still wraps thee from my sight?
Not wholly—ah! not wholly—still
Trace thy dim beauty through the mystic veil,
Like the young moon that glimmers faint and pale,
At noontide through the sun-web of the skies;
But ah! I ope mine arms, and thou art gone,
And only Memory knows where thou hast shone.
Night—Night the tender, the compassionate,
Binds thee, gem-like, amid her raven hair;
I dream—I see—I feel that thou art there—
And stand all weeping at Sleep’s golden gate,
Till the leaves open, and the glory streams
Down through my tranced soul in radiant dreams.
Too short—too short—soon comes
the chilly morn,
To shake from love’s boughs all their sleep-born bloom,
And wake my heart back to its bitter doom,
Sending me through the land down-cast, forlorn,
Whilst thou, my Beautiful, art far away,
Bearing the brightness from my joyless day.
I stand and gaze across Earth’s fairest sea,
And still the plashing of the restless main,
Sounds like the clashing of a prisoner’s chain,
That binds me, oh! my Beautiful, from thee.
Oh! sea-bird, flashing past on snow-white wing,
Bear my soul to her in thy wandering.
My heart is weary gazing o’er the sea;
O’er the long dreary lines that close the sky;
Through solemn sun-sets ever mournfully,
Gazing in vain, my Beautiful, for thee;
Hearing the sullen waves for evermore
Dashing around me on the lonely shore.
But tides creep lazily about the sands,
Washing frail landmarks, Lethe-like, away,
And though their records perish day by day,
Still stand I ever, with close clasped hands,
Gazing far westward o’er the heaving sea,
Gazing in vain, my Beautiful, for thee.
The lights have faded from the little casement,
As though her closing eyes had brought on night;
And now she dreams—Ah! dreams supremely bright,
While silence reigns around from roof to basement.
And slow the moon is mounting up the sky,
Drawing Heaven’s myriads in her queenly train,
Flinging rich largesse, as she passes by,
Of beauty freely over hill and plain.