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


From the German. Forsaken

SOMETHING the heart must have to cherish,

Must love and joy and sorrow learn,

Something with passion clasp, or perish,

And in itself to ashes burn.

So to this child my heart is clinging,

And its frank eyes, with look intense,

Me from a world of sin are bringing

Back to a world of innocence.

Disdain must thou endure forever;

Strong may thy heart in danger be!

Thou shalt not fail! but ah, be never

False as thy father was to me.

Never will I forsake thee, faithless,

And thou thy mother ne’er forsake,

Until her lips are white and breathless,

Until in death her eyes shall break.