The Bengali Book of English Verse/A Farewell To Romance (Govin Chunder Dutt)

A Farewell To Romance.

Farewell!—a long farewell—to thee, Romance!
We may not meet as we have met before,
Though yet the witchery of that downcast glance
Enthralls my heart, it must enthral no more.
Though yet the music of thy silver voice
Rings in my ear—it must no longer ring;
The stern command of duty bids us part,
The moments hasten and she grants us few;
But ere thou speed'st where younger hearts rejoice,
And ere I wander like an alien thing,
Jostling and jostled in the world's wide mart,
Fain would I murmur 'mid my sighs 'Adieu.'

Who hath not seen thee, fair one, when the day
Urges his coursers o'er the dappled clouds,
Flit o'er the dewsprent lawns in green array?
Who hath not seen thee when the evening shrouds
The landscape hushed, by skirt of forest wide,
Listening transfixed to echoes floating there,
Pale as a statue and as motionless;
Or kneeling by the margin of a stream,
Wherein thine image might be dimly spied,
While the winds dallied with thy bosom bare,
And raised thy robes, and oft in wantonness
Rippled thy mirror, to destroy thy dream?

Who hath not seen thee in his chamber still
At dead of night? For me, I've seen thee oft,
When through the lattice came the moonlight chill,
With incense from the garden borne aloft.
The star of peace flamed ever on thy brow
Just where the hair was parted, and thy face,
That pale and pensive face, was aye serene
As a white lotus on its watery throne:
One hand upheld a verdant cypress bough,
The other on thy lip with artless grace
A finger pressed—while o'er thy head was seen,
Round yet apart, a rainbow-tinted zone.

Yes, I have seen thee many and many a night,
But silent ever, and thine eyes have made
(Those eyes where quiver passion's tear drops bright)
A deep impression on my heart, and laid
A spell upon me that I may not rend—
A spell that half unfits me for the strife
Recurring constant in the work-day world.
Ah! how I long to linger by thy side

In pathless wilds, where leafy branches bend
Each above each—the busy hum of life
Is never felt—the contest-flag is furled,
And from his foes the wounded deer may hide.

It may not be; I dare not disobey
The trumpet-voice of duty which I hear,
With aching bosom, call me hence away,
And bid me leave thee whom I love so dear.
Therefore farewell—a long farewell—Romance!
We may not meet as we have met before,
For now my leisure hours can be but few.
Yet when we meet what raptures shall there be,
Upon some rare, rare holiday, by chance,
Roving in gardens as I roved of yore
At evening, when the stars begem the blue,
And warbling birds awake to ecstasy.

And if we meet not—if thou shunn'st my sight,
Scared at my world-worn brow and haggard look,
Then shall I woo thee with the charms of might,
And pore intently on some well-loved book —
Well-loved of old, to be well-loved no more—
The varied melody of Shakespeare's shell,
The Doric flute of Milton, or the reed
Of 'sage and serious' Spenser ever dear,
In breathless silence heard so oft before
By thee and me, (thou did'st confess the spell;)
Or what less deep, of late, thou lov'st to hear
The strains of Scott that stir the soul indeed.

If time or care thine image should efface,
The image deeply graven on my brain,
And scenes seem dull which once I loved to trace,
And books, once prized, afford no balm to pain,

Where shall I seek to light the fire anew?
How find thee, Goddess of the peerless eyes?
In mine own hearth, and in the prattle sweet
Of children dear, and in their sunny glance,
And in their love so tender and so true,
A love that every morning magnifies.
Though parting now, we thus may sometime meet
And love each other as of old, Romance.