May And Death

A poem by Robert Browning

I wish that when you died last May,
Charles, there had died along with you
Three parts of spring’s delightful things;
Ay, and, for me, the fourth part too.

A foolish thought, and worse, perhaps!
There must be many a pair of friends
Who, arm in arm, deserve the warm
Moon-births and the long evening-ends.

So, for their sake, be May still May!
Let their new time, as mine of old,
Do all it did for me: I bid
Sweet sights and sounds throng manifold.

Only, one little sight, one plant,
Woods have in May, that starts up green
Save a sole streak which, so to speak,
Is spring’s blood, spilt its leaves between,

That, they might spare; a certain wood
Might miss the plant; their loss were small:
But I, whene’er the leaf grows there,
Its drop comes from my heart, that’s all.

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