Methought last night I saw thee lowly laid,
Thy pallid cheek yet paler, on the bier;
And scattered round thee many a lovely braid
Of flowers, the brightest of the closing year;
Whilst on thy lips the placid smile that played,
Proved thy soul's exit to a happier sphere,
In silent eloquence reproaching those
Who watched in agony thy last repose.
A pensive, wandering, melancholy light
The moon's pale radiance on thy features cast,
Which, through the awful stillness of the night,
Gleamed like some lovely vision of the past,
Recalling hopes once beautiful and bright,
Now, like that struggling beam, receding fast,
Which o'er the scene a softening glory shed,
And kissed the brow of the unconscious dead.
Yes--it was thou!--and we were doomed to part,
Never in this wide world to meet again.
The blow that levelled thee was in my heart,
And thrilled my breast with more than mortal pain.
Despair forbade the gathering tears to start;
But soon the gushing torrents fell like rain
O'er thy pale form, as free and unrepressed
As the rash shower that rocks the storm to rest.
For all this goodly earth contained for me,
Of bright or beautiful, lay withering there:
What were its gayest scenes bereft of thee--
What were its joys in which thou couldst not share?
While memory recalled each spot, where we
Had twined together many a garland fair,
Of hope's own wreathing, and the summer hours
Smiled not on happier, gayer hearts than ours.
Hearts, chilled and silent, as the pensive beam,
Whose shadowy glory resting on the pall,
Casts on the dead a sad portentous gleam,
And serves past hours of rapture to recall,
Till the soul roused herself with one wild scream,
As shuddering nature felt the powerful call,
And I awoke in ecstasy to find
'Twas but a fleeting phantom of the mind!