New poems and variant readings/The relic taken, what avails the shrine?
THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE?
The relic taken, what avails the shrine?
The locket, pictureless? O heart of mine,
Art thou not worse than that,
Still warm, a vacant nest where love once sat?
Her image nestled closer at my heart
Than cherished memories, healed every smart
And warmed it more than wine
Or the full summer sun in noon-day shine.
This was the little weather gleam that lit
The cloudy promontories—the real charm was
That gilded hills and woods
And walked beside me thro' the solitudes.
The sun is set. My heart is widowed now
Of that companion-thought. Alone I plough
The seas of life, and trace
A separate furrow far from her and grace.