Littell's Living Age/Volume 173/Issue 2244/The Ebb of Love

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A love that wanes is as an ebbing tide, Which slowly, inch by inch, and scarce perceived, With many a wave that makes brave show to rise, Fails from the shore. No sudden treason turns The long-accustomed loyalty to hate, But years bring weariness for sweet content, And fondness, daily sustenance of love, Which use should make a tribute easier paid, First grudged, and then withholden, starves the heart; And though compassion, or remorseful thoughts Of happy days departed, bring again The ancient tenderness in seeming flood, Not less it ebbs and ebbs till all is bare. O happy shore, the flowing tide shall brim Thy empty pools, and spread dull tangled weeds In streamers many-colored as the lights Which flash in northern heavens, and revive The fainting blossoms of the rocks; but thou, O heart, whence love hath ebbed, art ever bare!