What hope is here for modern rhyme
      To him, who turns a musing eye
      On songs, and deeds, and lives, that lie
Foreshorten'd in the tract of time?

These mortal lullabies of pain
      May bind a book, may line a box,
      May serve to curl a maiden's locks;
Or when a thousand moons shall wane

A man upon a stall may find,
      And, passing, turn the page that tells
      A grief, then changed to something else,
Sung by a long-forgotten mind.

But what of that? My darken'd ways
      Shall ring with music all the same;
      To breathe my loss is more than fame,
To utter love more sweet than praise.


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Last modified 16 February 2010