A Highland Regiment/Growing Pains

                    I

MY virtue is gone from me. Nevermore
  Shall I see all the flowers and grasses plain,
But only sit and think how once I saw,
  And only pray that I may see again.
And in my ears all melody will die,
  And on my lips the songs I make will fade.
And I shall only hear in memory
  A far-off echo of the songs I made.
And the old happy vision of God's grace.
  Where I have mingled with eternal light,
Will comfort me no more, but in its place
  There will be darkness and eternal night ;
And faintly in the darkness you will move.
And I shall keep the memory of love.

                     II

I cannot see your face, I cannot see
  The hair back-sweeping from your candid brow,
For night eternal overshadows me,
  And eyes that saw you once are sightless now ;
I cannot hear the music of your voice
  That was so beautiful while I could hear,
But only wait upon you and rejoice
  To know that in the darkness you are near.
Oh come to me, my dear, and loose my chain,
  And with your magic break the evil spell,
And bring me back into the light again
  To the fair country where I used to dwell.
For now my ears are deaf, my eyes are blind.
And endless darkness gathers in my mind.


                    III

The end has come for me, the end has come,
  The fairies have rung out their silver bell,
And after time will find and leave me dumb
  With no more tales of fairyland to tell.
The end has come for me, the end of all,
  Of song half-uttered and of quick desire,
And hopes that strained to heaven in their fall.
   And high dreams fashioned out of clay and fire.
The earth is black about me, and the sun
  Is blotted out with darkness overhead,
There is no hope to comfort me not one.
  For love has stolen away, and faith has fled,
And life that once was mine has passed me by.
And I am desolate and shall not die.


                     IV

There is a city built with walls of gold,
  Which is the birthplace of the fairy kings.
Full of strange songs and stories yet untold,
  And all the happiness that childhood brings.
The city's gates are open night and day.
  And night and day the travellers ride through,
And many that have wandered far away
  Would reach again the happy town they knew.
But they can only watch the vision die,
  And hear the music cease along the strand.
And from the merry dancing-ring no cry
  Comes down the falling wind to where they stand,
And so they turn away again to try
The darkness of the undiscovered land.

Oxford, 1913