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My Thyrza's pledge in better days,
When love and life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze!
How tinged by time with sorrow's hue ! The heart that gave itself with thee
Is silent-ah, were mine as still! Though cold as e’en the dead can be,
It feels, it sickens with the chill.
7. Thou bitter pledge ! thou mournful token!
Though painful, welcome to my breast ! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken,
Or break the heart to which thou’rt prest!
Time tempers love, but not removes,
More hallowed when its hope is fled: Oh! what are thousand living loves
To that which cannot quit the dead?
When Time, or soon or late, shall bring
The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead, Oblivion! may thy languid wing
Wave gently o’er my dying bed !
No band of friends or heirs be there,
To weep, or wish, the coming blow: No maiden, with dishevelled hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe.
But silent let me sink to Earth,
With no officious mourners near : I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Nor startle friendship with a fear.
Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs, Might then exert its latest power In her who lives and him who dies.
'Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last
Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggles past,
E'en Pain itself should smile on thee.
But vain the wish-for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; And woman's tears, produced at will,
Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan! For thousands Death hath ceased to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.