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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From the French. My Secret

By Félix Arvers

MY soul its secret has, my life too has its mystery,

A love eternal in a moment’s space conceived;

Hopeless the evil is, I have not told its history,

And she who was the cause nor knew it nor believed.

Alas! I shall have passed close by her unperceived,

Forever at her side, and yet forever lonely,

I shall unto the end have made life’s journey, only

Daring to ask for naught, and having naught received.

For her, though God has made her gentle and endearing,

She will go on her way distraught and without hearing

These murmurings of love that round her steps ascend,

Piously faithful still unto her austere duty,

Will say, when she shall read these lines full of her beauty,

“Who can this woman be?” and will not comprehend.