241. ["Farewell" is on my tongue]

Translated by William Roger Paton 

“Farewell” is on my tongue, but I hold in the word with a wrench and still abide near thee. For I shudder at this horrid parting as at the bitter night of hell. Indeed thy light is like the daylight; but that is mute, while thou bringest me that talk, sweeter than the Sirens, on which all my soul’s hopes hang.
 

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Love the Light-Giver

To Tommaso De’ Cavalieri

Veggio co' bei vostri occhi.

With your fair eyes a charming light I see,
    For which my own blind eyes would peer in vain;
    Stayed by your feet, the burden I sustain
    Which my lame feet find all too strong for me;
Wingless upon your pinions forth I fly;
    Heavenward your spirit stirreth me to strain;
    E'en as you will, I blush and blanch again,
    Freeze in the sun, burn 'neath a frosty sky.
Your will includes and is the lord of mine;
    Life to my thoughts within your heart is given;
    My words begin to breathe upon your breath:
Like to the moon am I, that cannot shine
    Alone; for lo! our eyes see nought in heaven
    Save what the living sun illumineth.

An Adieu

Sorrow, quit me for a while!
    Wintry days are over;
Hope again, with April smile,
    Violets sows and clover.

Pleasure follows in her path,
    Love itself flies after,
And the brook a music hath
    Sweet as childhood’s laughter.

Not a bird upon the bough
    Can repress its rapture,
Not a bud that blossoms now
    But doth beauty capture.

Sorrow, thou art Winter’s mate,
    Spring cannot regret thee;
Yet, ah, yet—my friend of late—
    I shall not forget thee!

Forever

I had not known before
    Forever was so long a word.
The slow stroke of the clock of time
    I had not heard.

‘Tis hard to learn so late;
    It seems no sad heart really learns,
But hopes and trusts and doubts and fears,
    And bleeds and burns.

The night is not all dark,
    Nor is the day all it seems,
But each may bring me this relief—
    My dreams and dreams.

I had not known before
    That Never was so sad a word,
So wrap me in forgetfulness—
     I have not heard.