To E. by Amy Levy
The mountains in fantastic lines
Sweep, blue-white, to the sky, which shines
Blue as blue gems; athwart the pines
The lake gleams blue.
We three were here, three years gone by;
Our Poet, with fine-frenzied eye,
You, stepped in learned lore, and I,
A poet too.
Our Poet brought us books and flowers,
He read us Faust; he talked for hours
Philosophy (sad Schopenhauer's),
Beneath the trees:
And do you mind that sunny day,
When he, as on the sward he lay,
Told of Lassalle who bore away
The false Louise?
Thrice-favoured bard! to him alone
That green and snug retreat was shown,
Where to the vulgar herd unknown,
Our pens we plied.
(For, in those distant days, it seems,
We cherished sundry idle dreams,
And with our flowing foolscap reams
The Fates defied.)
And after, when the day was gone,
And the hushed, silver night came on,
He showed us where the glow-worm shone;--
We stooped to see.
There, too, by yonder moon we swore
Platonic friendship o'er and o'er;
No folk, we deemed, had been before
So wise and free.
* * * * * * *
And do I sigh or smile to-day?
Dead love or dead ambition, say,
Which mourn we most? Not much we weigh
On you the sun is shining free;
Our Poet sleeps in Italy,
Beneath an alien sod; on me
The cloud descends.