Silence and Tears
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:--
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met--
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
With silence and tears
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
I can write the saddest verses
Write, for example: "The night sky is full of stars,
And far away, blue, celestial bodies tremble".
The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.
I can write the saddest verses tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she also loved me.
Through nights like tonight I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.
She loved me, and sometimes I also loved her.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
I can write the saddest verses
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I lost her.
To hear the immense night, even more immeasurable without her.
And the verse falls to the soul as dew to the pasture.
It does not matter that my love could not keep her.
The night sky is full of stars, and she is not with me.
This is all.
In the distance someone sings.
In the distance.
My soul cannot be relieved
now that I lost her.
My eyes search for her, trying to bring her close to me.
My heart searches for her, and she is not with me.
The same night, whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, it is true, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to caress her hearing.
Another's. She must belong
to someone else, just as she belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, it is true, but maybe I still love her.
Love is so short, and forgetting takes so long.
Because through nights like tonight I held her in my arms,
My soul cannot be relieved now that I lost her.
Even when this is the last pain she causes me
And these are the last verses that I write about her.
How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me
count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,....I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!....and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Remember me when I am gone
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Time does not bring relief,
you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain.
I miss him at the weeping of the rain
I want him at the shrinking of the tide.
The old snows melt from every mountainside
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped upon my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
So many places I fear to go, so with his memory they brim
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot nor shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
What lips my lips have kissed,
and where and why
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain under my head 'til morn.
But the wind is full of ghosts tonight,
That tap and sigh upon the glass and listen for reply.
And in my heart there stirs an quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree.
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before.
I cannot say what loves have come and gone.
I only know that summer sang in me a little while, that in me sings no
Well, I have lost you, and
I lost you fairly
In my own way, and with my full consent.
Say what you will, kings in a timbrel rarely
Went to their deaths more proudly than this one went.
Some nights of apprehension and weeping I will confess.
Day dried my tears; I was not one for keeping
Rubbed in a cage a wing that would be free.
If I had loved you less or played you slyly
I might have held you for a summer more;
But at the cost of words I value highly
And no such summer as the one before.
If I should outlive this pain - and men do -
I shall have only good to say of you.
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