Two Voices

First Voice

The life that was is dead and lost
And cannot rise and live again:
By other doubt the heart is crossed,
The world is moved by other pain.
No age can tell the pangs it cost
Nor think the thoughts of former men,
For all that was is dead and lost
And cannot rise and live again.

Second Voice

Firm is what was and is and is to be,
And lapses not, though rumour say not sooth:
These fev'rous minutes have eternity,
And smile for ever in embalmed youth;
The heaving billows of my bosom's sea
Are fixed in the eternal frost of truth;
And my true love can never false become,
Though memory fail and prophecy be dumb.

First Voice

I would there were another shore
Beyond the flood of Acheron,
Where I might find the friend once more
That I have loved beneath the sun,
And tell the tender meaning o'er
Of all that once was said and done.
Oh, would there were another shore
Beyond the flood of Acheron!

Second Voice

Think you that Time can steal one golden pleasure,
Or filch one ingot from the wealth of sin?
Where should the gliding thief go hide the treasure,
What dark and boundless cavern hoard it in?
Oh, who is Time, to mete us with a measure
And say, Here thou shalt end, and here begin?
Upon Time's beach the feeble ripple dies
When life is at the flood and cannot rise.

First Voice

Is there no isle in all the sea
Where yet a blighted seed may flower
And grow to what it could not be
For lack of sun and dearth of shower?
In endless void no place for thee,
In Time no day to prove thy power,
And not an isle in all the sea
Where yet a blighted seed may flower!

Second Voice

The sweet cup I have quaffed is mine for ever
And mine the bitter draught of precious grief;
No god can me and my poor fortunes sever
And say I was not thus; nor any thief
Rob of its dear intent my long endeavour,
Or strip my woven laurel of a leaf;
And, whether here I rest or higher climb,
My fate is mine, and scorns the lie of Time.
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