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Landon in The Improvisatrice; and Other Poems/Song


Farewell!—we shall not meet again!
      As we are parting now,

I must my beating heart restrain—
      Must veil my burning brow!
Oh, I must coldly learn to hide
      One thought, all else above—
Must call upon my woman's pride
      To hide my woman's love!
Check dreams I never may avow;
Be free, be careless, cold as thou!
Oh! those are tears of bitterness,
      Wrung from the breaking heart,
When two, blest in their tenderness,
      Must learn to live—apart!
But what are they to that lone sigh,
      That cold and fixed despair,
That weight of wasting agony
      It must be mine to bear?

Methinks I should not thus repine,
If I had but one vow of thine.
I could forgive inconstancy,
To be one moment loved by thee!
With me the hope of life is gone,
      The sun of joy is set;
One wish my soul still dwells upon—
      The wish it could forget.
I would forget that look, that tone,
My heart hath all too dearly known.
But who could ever yet efface
From memory love's enduring trace?
All may revolt, all may complain—
But who is there may break the chain?
Farewell!—I shall not be to thee
       More than a passing thought;

But every time and place will be
       With thy remembrance fraught!
Farewell! we have not often met—
       We may not meet again;
But on my heart the seal is set
       Love never sets in vain!
Fruitless as constancy may be,
No chance, no change, may turn from thee
One who has loved thee wildly, well—
But whose first love-vow breathed—farewell.