So, all will forget, what to think of mere pain,
That the heart now asleep in this solemn repose,
Had contended with tempests of sorrow in vain,
And gone down in the strife at the feet of its foes:
They will choose to be mute when a deed I have done,
Or a word I have spoke I can no more atone;
They'll remember I loved them, was faithful and true;
They'll not say what a wild will abode in my breast;
But repeat to each other, as if they were new,
Old stories of what did the loved one at rest.
Ah! while I lie soothing my soul with this dream,
The terror of waking comes back to my heart;
Why is it not as I thus make it seem?
Must I come back to the world, ere we part?
Deep was the swoon of my spirit—why break it?
Why bring me back to the struggles that shake it?
Alas, there is room on my feet for fresh bruises—
The flowers are not dead on my brow or my breast—
When shall I learn "sweet adversity's uses,"
And my tantalized spirit be truly at rest!
O, ye Athenians, drunken with self-praise,
What dreams I had of you, beside the sea,
In far Milentus! while the golden days
Slid into silver nights, so sweet to me;
For then I dreamed my day-dreams sweetly o'er,
Fancying the touch of Pallas on my brow—
Libations of both heart and wine did pour,
And offered up my being with my vow.
My life, my soul, myself. Ah, well, I learn
'Twas thus to Athens my heart drew at last