Farewell of the Soul to the Body
Companion dear, the hour draws nigh,
The sentence speeds—to die, to die.
So long in mystic union held,
So close with strong embrace compelled,
How canst thou bear the dread decree
That strikes thy clasping nerves from me?
To Him who on this mortal shore,
The same encircling vestment wore,
To him I look, to him I bend,
To him thy shuddering frame commend.
If I have ever caused thee pain,
The throbbing breast, the burning brain,
With cares and vigils turned thee pale,
And scorned thee when thy strength did fail,
Forgive, forgive! thy task doth cease,
Friend! lover! let us part in peace.
That thou didst sometimes check my force,
Or, trifling, stay mine upward course,
Or lure from heaven my wavering trust,
Or bow my drooping wing to dust,
I blame thee not; the strife is done;
I knew thou wert the weaker one,
The vase of earth, the trembling clod
Constrained to hold the breath of God.
Well hast thou in my service wrought;
Thy brow hath mirrored forth my thought;
To wear my smile thy life hath glowed,
Thy tear to speak my sorrows, flowed;
Thine ear hath borne me rich supplies
Of sweetly-varied melodies;
Thy hands my prompted deeds have done,
Thy feet upon my errands run.
Yes, thou hast marked my bidding well,
Faithful and true! farewell, farewell,
Go to thy rest. A quiet bed
Meek mother Earth with flowers shall spread,
Where I no more thy sleep may break
With fevered dream, nor rudely wake
Thy wearied eye.
O, quit thy hold,
For thou art faint, and chill, and cold,
And long thy gasp and groan of pain
Have bound me pitying in thy chain,
Though angels urge me hence to soar,
Where I shall share thine ills no more.
Yet we shall meet. To soothe thy pain
Remember, we shall meet again.
Quell with this hope the victor's sting,
And keep it as a signet ring,
When the dire worm shall pierce thy breast,
And nought but ashes mark thy rest;
When stars shall fall, and skies grow dark,
And proud suns quench their glowworm spark,
Keep thou that hope, to light thy gloom,
Till the last trumpet rends the tomb.
Then shalt thou glorious rise, and fair,
Nor spot, nor stain, nor wrinkle bear,
And I, with hovering wing elate,
The bursting of thy bonds shall wait,
And breathe the welcome of the sky
"No more to part, no more to die,
Co-heir to immortality."