To A Dead Friend

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

And is it true indeed, and must you go,
Set out alone across that moorland track,
No love avail, though we have loved you so,
No voice have any power to call you back?
And losing hands stretch after you in vain,
And all our eyes grow empty for your lack,
Nor hands, nor eyes, know aught of you again.

Dear friend, I shed no tear while yet you stayed,
Nor vexed your soul with unavailing word,
But you are gone, and now can all be said,
And tear and sigh too surely fall unheard.
So long I kept for you an undimmed eye,
Surely for grief this hour may well be spared,
Though could you know I still must keep it dry.

For what can tears avail you? the spring rain
That softly pelts the lattice, as with flowers,
Will of its tears a daisied counterpane
Weave for your rest, and all its sound of showers
Makes of its sobbing low a cradle song:
All tears avail but these salt tears of ours,
These tears alone 'tis idle to prolong.

Yet must we shed them, barren though they be,
Though bloom nor burden answer as they flow,
Though no sun shines that our sad eyes can see
To throw across their fall hope's radiant bow.
Poor selfish tears! we weep them not for him,
'Tis our own sorrow that we pity so,
'Tis our own loss that leaves our eyes so dim.

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