Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XIII. Farewell
Messages
By Francis Thompson (1859–1907)
 
WHAT shall I your true-love tell,
  Earth-forsaking maid?
What shall I your true-love tell,
  When life’s spectre ’s laid?
 
‘Tell him that, our side the grave,        5
  Maid may not conceive
Life should be so sad to have,
  That ’s so sad to leave!’
 
What shall I your true-love tell,
  When I come to him?        10
What shall I your true-love tell—
  Eyes growing dim!
 
‘Tell him this, when you shall part
  From a maiden pined;
That I see him with my heart,        15
  Now my eyes are blind.’
 
What shall I your true-love tell?
  Speaking-while is scant.
What shall I your true-love tell,
  Death’s white postulant?        20
 
‘Tell him—love, with speech at strife,
  For last utterance saith:
I, who loved with all my life,
  Love with all my death.’
 
 
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