'Tis Well to Wake the Theme of Love

'T IS well to wake the theme of love
When chords of wild ecstatic fire
Fling from the harp, and amply prove
The soul as joyous as the lyre.

Such theme is blissful when the heart
Warms with the precious name we pour;
When our deep pulses glow and start
Before the idol we adore.

Sing ye, whose doating eyes behold,
Whose ears can drink the dear one's tone.
Whose hands may press, whose arms may fold,
The prized, the beautiful, thine own.

But, should the ardent hopes of youth
Have cherished dreams that darkly fled;
Should passion, purity, and truth,
Live on, despairing o'er the dead;

Should we have heard some sweet voice hushed,
Breathing our name in latest vow;
Should our fast heavy tears have gushed
Above a cold, yet worshipped brow;

Oh! say, then can the minstrel choose
The themes that gods and mortals praise?
No, no; the spirit will refuse,
And sadly shun such raptured lays.

For who can bear to touch the string
That yields but anguish in its strain;
Whose lightest notes have power to wring
The keenest pangs from breast and brain?

" Sing ye of love in words that burn, "
Is what full many a lip will ask;
But love the dead, and ye will learn
Such bidding is no gentle task.

Oh! pause in mercy, ere ye blame
The one who lends not love his lyre;
That which ye deem ethereal flame
May be to him a torture pyre.
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