With sweet Regret—(the dearest thing that Yesterday has left us)—
We often turn our homeless eyes to scenes whence Fate has reft us.
Here sitting by a fading flame, wild waifs of song remind me
Of Annie with her gentle ways, the Girl I left behind me.
I stood beside the surging sea, with lips of silent passion—
I faced you by the surging sea, O brows of mild repression!
I never said—“My darling, stay!”—the moments seemed to bind me
To something stifling all my words for the Girl I left behind me.
The pathos worn by common things—by every wayside flower,
Or Autumn leaf on lonely winds, revives the parting hour.
Ye swooning thoughts without a voice—ye tears which rose to blind me,
Why did she fade into the Dark, the Girl I left behind me.
At night they always come to me, the tender and true-hearted;
And in my dreams we join again the hands which now are parted;
And, looking through the gates of Sleep, the pleasant Moon doth find me
For ever wandering with my Love, the Girl I left behind me.
You know my life is incomplete, O far-off faint Ideal!
When shall I reach you from a depth of darkness which is real?
So I may mingle, soul in soul, with her that Heaven assigned me;
So she may lean upon my love, the Girl I left behind me.