I looked for that which is not, nor can be,And hope deferred made my heart sick, in truth;But years must pass before a hope of youthIs resigned utterly.I watched and waited with a steadfast will:And, tho' the object seemed to fly awayThat I so longed for, ever, day by day,I watched and waited still.Sometimes I said,-'This thing shall be no more;My expectation wearies, and shall cease;I will resign it now, and be at peace.'-Yet never gave it o'er.Sometimes I said,-'It is an empty nameI long for; to a name why should I giveThe peace of all the days I have to live?'-Yet gave it all the same.Alas! thou foolish one,- alike unfitFor healthy joy and salutary pain,Thou knowest the chase useless, and againTurnest to follow it.
Time does not bring relief; you all have liedWho told me time would ease me of my pain!I miss him in the weeping of the rain;I want him at the shrinking of the tide;The old snows melt from every mountain-side,And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;But last year's bitter loving must remainHeaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide!There are a hundred places where I fearTo go,--so with his memory they brim!And entering with relief some quiet placeWhere never fell his foot or shone his faceI say, 'There is no memory of him here!'And so stand stricken, so remembering him!