A Lament

A wail for the dead and the dying!
They fall in the wind through the Gilead tree,
Off the sunset's gold, off hill and sea;
They fall on the grave where thou art lying,
Like a voice of woe, like a woman sighing,
Moaning her buried, her broken love,
Never more joy,—never on earth, never in heaven above!

Ah, me! was it for this I came here?
Christ! didst thou die that for this I might live?
An anguish, a grief like the heart o'er the bier,—
Grief that I cannot bury, nor against it can strive,—
Life-long to haunt me, while breath brings to-morrow,
Falling in spring and in winter, rain and sleet sorrow,
Prest from my fate that its future ne'er telleth,
Spring from the unknown that ever more welleth.

Fair, O my fields! soft, too, your hours!
Mother of Earth, thou art pleasant to see!
I walk o'er thy sands, and I bend o'er thy flowers.
There is nothing, O nothing, thou givest me,
Nothing, O nothing, I take from thee.
What are thy heavens, so blue and so fleeting?
Storm, if I reck not, no echo meeting.
In this cold heart, that is dead to its beating,
Caring for nothing, parting or greeting!
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