To Rosa. Written During Illness.

A poem by Thomas Moore

The wisest soul, by anguish torn,
Will soon unlearn the lore it knew;
And when the shrining casket's worn,
The gem within will tarnish too.

But love's an essence of the soul,
Which sinks hot with this chain of clay;
Which throbs beyond the chill control
Of withering pain or pale decay.

And surely, when the touch of Death
Dissolves the spirit's earthly ties,
Love still attends the immortal breath,
And makes it purer for the skies!

Oh Rosa, when, to seek its sphere,
My soul shall leave this orb of men,
That love which formed its treasure here,
Shall be its best of treasures then!

And as, in fabled dreams of old,
Some air-born genius, child of time,
Presided o'er each star that rolled,
And tracked it through its path sublime;

So thou, fair planet, not unled,
Shalt through thy mortal orbit stray;
Thy lover's shade, to thee still wed,
Shall linger round thy earthly way.

Let other spirits range the sky,
And play around each starry gem;
I'll bask beneath that lucid eye,
Nor envy worlds of suns to them.

And when that heart shall cease to beat,
And when that breath at length is free,
Then, Rosa, soul to soul we'll meet,
And mingle to eternity!

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