A Farewell


I soothed and pitied thee: and for thy lips, —
A smile, a word (sure guide
To love that's ill to hide!)
Was all I had thereof.

Even as an orphan boy, who, sore distress'd,
A gentle woman meets beside the road
And takes him home with her, — so to thy breast
Thou didst take home my image: pure abode!
'Twas but a virgin's dream. This heart bestow'd
Respect and piety
And friendliness on thee:
But it is poor in love.

No, I am not for thee. Thou art too new,
I am too old, to the old beaten way.
The griefs are not the same which grieve us two:
Less than I wish, more than I hope, alway
Are heart and soul in thee.
Thou art too much for me
Sister, and not enough.

A better and a fresher heart than mine
Perchance may meet thee ere thy youth be told;
Or, cheated by the longing that is thine,
Waiting for life perchance thou shalt wax old.
Perchance the time may come when I may hold
It had been best for me
To have had thy ministry
On the steep path and rough.
Author of original: 
Niccol├▓ Tommaseo
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