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


I. Juvenile Poems. To Ianthe

WHEN upon the western cloud

Hang day’s fading roses,

When the linnet sings aloud

And the twilight closes,—

As I mark the moss-grown spring

By the twisted holly,

Pensive thoughts of thee shall bring

Love’s own melancholy.

Lo, the crescent moon on high

Lights the half-choked fountain;

Wandering winds steal sadly by

From the hazy mountain.

Yet that moon shall wax and wane,

Summer winds pass over,—

Ne’er the heart shall love again

Of the slighted lover!

When the russet autumn brings

Blighting to the forest,

Twisted close the ivy clings

To the oak that’s hoarest;

So the love of other days

Cheers the broken-hearted;

But if once our love decays

’T is for aye departed.

When the hoar-frost nips the leaf,

Pale and sear it lingers,

Wasted in its beauty brief

By decay’s cold fingers;

Yet unchanged it ne’er again

Shall its bloom recover;—

Thus the heart shall aye remain

Of the slighted lover.

Love is like the songs we hear

O’er the moonlit ocean;

Youth, the spring-time of a year

Passed in Love’s devotion!

Roses of their bloom bereft

Breathe a fragrance sweeter;

Beauty has no fragrance left

Though its bloom is fleeter.

Then when tranquil evening throws

Twilight shades above thee,

And when early morning glows,—

Think on those that love thee!

For an interval of years

We ere long must sever,

But the hearts that love endears

Shall be parted never.