We leave the well-beloved place
      Where first we gazed upon the sky;
      The roofs, that heard our earliest cry,
Will shelter one of stranger race.

We go, but ere we go from home,
      As down the garden-walks I move,
      Two spirits of a diverse love
Contend for loving masterdom.

One whispers, "Here thy boyhood sung
      Long since its matin song, and heard
      The low love-language of the bird
In native hazels tassel-hung."

The other answers, "Yea, but here
      Thy feet have stray'd in after hours
      With thy lost friend among the bowers,
And this hath made them trebly dear."

These two have striven half the day,
      And each prefers his separate claim,
      Poor rivals in a losing game,
That will not yield each other way.

I turn to go: my feet are set
      To leave the pleasant fields and farms;
      They mix in one another's arms
To one pure image of regret.

Last modified 19 February 2010