He tasted love with half his mind,
      Nor ever drank the inviolate spring
      Where nighest heaven, who first could fling
This bitter seed among mankind;

That could the dead, whose dying eyes
      Were closed with wail, resume their life,
      They would but find in child and wife
An iron welcome when they rise:

'Twas well, indeed, when warm with wine,
      To pledge them with a kindly tear,
      To talk them o'er, to wish them here,
To count their memories half divine;

But if they came who past away,
      Behold their brides in other hands;
      The hard heir strides about their lands,
And will not yield them for a day.

Yea, tho' their sons were none of these,
      Not less the yet-loved sire would make
      Confusion worse than death, and shake
The pillars of domestic peace.

Ah dear, but come thou back to me:
      Whatever change the years have wrought,
      I find not yet one lonely thought
That cries against my wish for thee.

Last modified 13 February 2010