Dream Tales and Prose Poems/Poems in Prose/Stay!

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Stay! as I see thee now, abide for ever in my memory!

From thy lips the last inspired note has broken. No light, no flash is in thy eyes; they are dim, weighed down by the load of happiness, of the blissful sense of the beauty, it has been thy glad lot to express—the beauty, groping for which thou hast stretched out thy yearning hands, thy triumphant, exhausted hands!

What is the radiance—purer and higher than the sun's radiance—all about thy limbs, the least fold of thy raiment?

What god's caressing breath has set thy scattered tresses floating?

His kiss burns on thy brow, white now as marble.

This is it, the mystery revealed, the mystery of poesy, of life, of love! This, this is immortality! Other immortality there is none, nor need be. For this instant thou art immortal.

It passes, and once more thou art a grain of dust, a woman, a child. . . . But why need'st thou care! For this instant, thou art above, thou art outside all that is passing, temporary. This thy instant will never end.

Stay! and let me share in thy immortality; shed into my soul the light of thy eternity!

November 1879.