Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 7/Heimkehr (The return)

HEIMKEHR (THE RETURN).

FROM THE GERMAN OF EMMANUEL GEIBEL.

 

That was a day of bitter smart,
The day that witnessed our farewell,
When thou didst turn thee from a heart
Thine own, and passing rich as well.

I know too well my fault was great,
Yet less than that thy memory kept,
And I have borne its woeful weight,
And tears of blood my sin hath wept.

And years have passed, and now my star
Conducts me near thy paths once more,
I feel anew my bosom’s war,
The joy and pain well known of yore.

Methinks from thee I would not sever,
And I would speak the word “Forgive!”
For, though the world would part us ever,
Thou’rt loved and lovely, and I live.
 
If to new aims I turned away,
Through joy and sorrow struggling free,
Yet through life’s various hazard-play
My thought would still come home to thee.

I strove for pleasure, honour, truth,
Prizes I won, and wear them now;
Yet boon is none so rich as youth—
The boon of youth to me wert thou.

G. C. Swayne.