If one should bring me this report,
      That thou hadst touch'd the land to-day,
      And I went down unto the quay,
And found thee lying in the port;

And standing, muffled round with woe,
      Should see thy passengers in rank
      Come stepping lightly down the plank,
And beckoning unto those they know;

And if along with these should come
      The man I held as half-divine;
      Should strike a sudden hand in mine,
And ask a thousand things of home;
And I should tell him all my pain,

      And how my life had droop'd of late,
      And he should sorrow o'er my state
And marvel what possess'd my brain;

And I perceived no touch of change,
      No hint of death in all his frame,
      But found him all in all the same,
I should not feel it to be strange.

Last modified 12 February 2010