VIII. Lethe

I TIRE of phantoms that my heart distrain,
That claim their own, and will not let me rest,
That mock me with old laughter, long-hushed jest,
And of the love I promised once are fain.
Shall I not seek some opiate for pain,
And drug the ceaseless ache within my breast —
Bid Memory " Hence! " as an unwelcome guest,
And smite the joyous chords of Life again?

Nay! Then must I forbid the dead to speak,
And do the holy past unholy wrong —
Disown its claim — refuse to pay its debt —
All Heaven would look with scorn on one so weak!
I choose, instead, to suffer and be strong —
Give me no Lethe! I will not forget.
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