Ad Carissimam Amicam

Now that our mirth is o'er, now that our Dream is done,
Now that a Hand creeps out across the heavenly blue
Putting the lights of Heaven out sadly one by one,
What dream beneath the moon, what hope beneath the sun
Shall our poor souls pursue?

Startled amid the feast we look around and lo!
The Word of Doom that flames along Life's palace walls—
The music dies away—the last musicians go—
(Bards with their golden harps, gods in their robes of snow)
And the dread Silence falls!

What is the word we read in wonder and despair?
ANARCHY! writ in flame for all our eyes to mark …
Rise,—put the wine cup by,—fly out into the air!
Ah, but the sunless void, the empty space, are there,
And all the Heavens are dark!

Nay, courage! droop thy gaze from yonder fading spheres,
With thy soft azure orbs gaze in these eyes of mine—
There, deep within the soul, a dim sweet light appears,
The glimmer of a Dawn that sparkles out thro' tears,
Brightens, and seems divine!

Within us, not without, there gleams that lucent ray,
Flash'd from the Founts of Dawn, a glimmer of dewy light;
What tho' the gods are dead? what tho' the world grows grey?
Still clearer grows the dawn of some diviner Day
Transcending Death and Night.

ANARCHY? … 'tis the word that startles and appals.
LOVE! … 'tis the heavenly word that softly calls us hence!
Without, the red word runs in fire on crumbling walls,
Yea, for the World is doom'd,—dark as a spent torch falls
This leaning tower o' the sense!

Chaos and Night remain,—Death and the darkness blend—
Yet comfort! suns shall rise tho' many a sun hath set:
This is the dawn of Hope, now all save Hope doth end—
Rest thy dear hand in mine, kneel with me and attend—
All is not over yet;

Deep in thy faithful eyes how bright the promise gleams,
Answering the first faint beams of that new Dawn above—
‘Let there be LIGHT!’ God said,—Light came in orient beams;
Again across the Void, faint as a voice in dreams,
God saith, ‘Let there be LOVE!’
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