Thy Psyche

Like a strain of wondrous music rising up in cloister dim,
Through my life's unwritten measures thou dost steal, a glorious hymn!
All the joys of earth and heaven in the singing meet and flow,
Richer, sweeter for the wailing of an undertone of woe;
How I linger, how I listen for each mellow note that falls,
Clear as chime of angels floating downward o'er the jasper walls.

Every night when winds are moaning round my chamber by the sea,
Thine 's the face that, through the darkness, latest looks with love at me;
And I dream, ere thou departest thou dost press thy lips to mine, —
Then I sleep as slept the immortals after draughts of Hebe's wine!
As the young Endymion slumbered in a moonlight trance of bliss,
When, on lonely Latmos lying, Dian stooped his lips to kiss!

'T was thy soul-wife, 't was thy Psyche, one uplifted, heavenly day
Thou didst call me, — how divinely on thy brow love's glory lay!
Thou, my Cupid, — not the boy-god whom the Thespians did adore,
But the man so large, so noble, truer god than Venus bore.
I, thy Psyche, — yet what blackness in this thread of gold is wove;
Thou canst never, never lead me proud before the throne of Jove!
All the gods might strive to help thee through the longest summer day;
Still would watch the fatal Sisters spinning in the twilight gray,
And their calm and silent faces, changeless, looking through the gloom,
From eternity would answer, " Thou canst ne'er escape thy doom. "

Couldst thou claim me, couldst thou clasp me, 'neath the blue Elysian skies,
Then what music and what odor through their azure depths would rise!
Roses all the Hours would scatter; every god would bring us joy;
So, in perfect loving blended, bliss would never know alloy.

O my heart! the vision changes; fades the soft, celestial blue;
Dies away the rapturous music, thrilling all my pulses through;
Lone I sit within my chamber, storms are beating 'gainst the pane,
And my tears are falling faster than the chill December rain, —
Yet, though I am doomed to linger, joyless, on this earthly shore,
Thou art Cupid, I am Psyche, we are wedded evermore.
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