WHEN to the undesired home
Where you are queen, Persephone,
The Dreamer had untimely come,
Surely, I think for one brief hour
A brightness must have touched your gloom,
And that your yearning must have caught,
From something that his presence brought,
A breath of Enna bloom.
About your throne, so wintry lone,
O sorrow-veiled Persephone!
I think bright visions, once your own,
Must pale have blossomed into flower:
That there, your home-sick heart to greet,
Narcissus, wraith-like, must have sprung
While memory gave plaintive tongue
To song Sicilian sweet.
If he, who plucked the asphodel,
Brought you one breath, Persephone,
Of the fair meads you loved so well
And dream of, pensive, hour by hour,—
Oh, tell him, who with shades must live,
Vexed by forlorn regrettings vain,
How mortals, mid earth's greater pain,
May, loving, all forgive!