The Despondent Lover’s Lament   Leave a comment

Above:  Woman with Parrot (La Femme a la Perruche), by Philippe-Auguste Renoir


It seems that my great-grandfather had some disappointments with love when he was a young man.   I arrive at this conclusion based on poems he chose to publish in 1883.



As two floating specks of foam

Every hour we further sever–

Come back, O! my darling, come,

Little more we part forever.


Was I right?  Oh! can it be

It was true what I foretold,

That when thou wast gone from me

Thou’d forget and soon grow cold?


Then I did not hink it so

Then my tongue my heart belied,

But a voice now clear, tho’ low,

Says I rightly prophesied.


What!  do all thy sacred vows

Now but idle babblings seem?

Has the love thou didst espouse

Proven but an empty dream?


Have the joys that we have known

Clasped in mutual embrace,

From thy recollection flown

Giving kindred joys a place?


When the rebel angels fell,

By Jehovah’s vengeance driven,

Hell had been a milder hell

Had they never been in heaven.


Thus my hours of loneliness

Half so gloomy would not be

Had I power to suppress

Mem’ry of the past with thee.


From their mem’ry I can borrow

Only grief, ’tis all it lends;

For it is a kindred sorrow

To that for departed friends.


Ah! how sweet were they, the shadow

Of what shall be real made;

But this truth stings like an adder:

They were shadows of a shade.


Thus those hours, so sweetly gliding,

Shall be chains to ever bin’

Or shall be a gulf dividing,

Ever twixt my heart and thine.


So it is–would ’twere not so–

Love transformed but loathing brings;

And the deepest hatreds flow

From Love’s purest, sweetest springs.


Deadliest hate that e’er resided

In a heart of any grade,

Is of hearts that once confided,

And, confiding, were betrayed.


Oh! my darling, would they have me

Ever thus from thee to go?

Then don’t take the heart thou gave me,

Or it will, it must, be so.


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