Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXXII. Visions
From ‘Greek Lament’
By Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793–1835)
 
BY the blue waters—the restless ocean waters,
Restless as they with their many-flashing surges,
Lonely I wander, weeping for my lost one!
 
I pine for thee through all the joyless day—
Through the long night I pine: the golden sun        5
Looks dim since thou hast left me, and the Spring
Seems but to weep. Where art thou, my beloved?
Night after night, in fond hope vigilant,
By the old temple on the breezy cliff,
These hands have heap’d the watch-fire, till it stream’d        10
Red o’er the shining columns—darkly red—
Along the crested billows!—but in vain;
Thy white sail comes not from the distant isles….
 
Where art thou?—where?—had I but lingering prest
On thy cold lips the last long kiss; but smooth’d        15
The parted ringlets of thy shining hair
With love’s fond touch, my heart’s cry had been still’d
Into a voiceless grief; I would have strew’d
With all the pale flowers of the vernal woods—
White violets, and the mournful hyacinth,        20
And frail anemone, thy marble brow,
In slumber beautiful!—I would have heap’d
Sweet boughs and precious odours on thy pyre,
And with mine own shorn tresses hung thine urn,
And many a garland of the pallid rose….        25
 
Come, in the dreamy shadow of the night,
And speak to me!—E’en though thy voice be changed,
My heart would know it still. Oh, speak to me,
And say if yet, in some dim, far-off world,
Which knows not how the festal sunshine burns—        30
O yet, in some pale mead of Asphodel,
We two shall meet again! Oh, I would quit
The day, rejoicingly—the rosy light—
All the rich flowers and fountains musical,
And sweet familiar melodies of earth,        35
To dwell with thee below!…
                Thou hear’st me not!
The heavens are pitiless of human tears:
The deep sea-darkness is about thy head;
The white sail never will bring back the loved!
 
By the blue waters—the restless ocean waters,        40
Restless as they with their many-flashing surges,
Lonely I wander, weeping for my lost one!
 
 
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