We were apart; yet, day by day, I bade my heart more constant be. I bade it keep the world away, And grow a home for only thee; Nor fear'd but thy love likewise grew, Like mine, each day, more tried, more true.
The fault was grave! I might have known, What far too soon, alas! I learn'dâ€” The heart can bind itself alone, And faith may oft be unreturn'd. Self-sway'd our feelings ebb and swellâ€” Thou lov'st no more;â€”Farewell! Farewell!
Farewell!â€”and thou, thou lonely heart, Which never yet without remorse Even for a moment didst depart From thy remote and spherÃ¨d course To haunt the place where passions reignâ€” Back to thy solitude again!
Back! with the conscious thrill of shame Which Luna felt, that summer-night, Flash through her pure immortal frame, When she forsook the starry height To hang over Endymion's sleep Upon the pine-grown Latmian steep.
Yet she, chaste queen, had never proved How vain a thing is mortal love, Wandering in Heaven, far removed. But thou hast long had place to prove This truthâ€”to prove, and make thine own: "Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone."
Or, if not quite alone, yet they Which touch thee are unmating thingsâ€” Ocean and clouds and night and day; Lorn autumns and triumphant springs; And life, and others' joy and pain, And love, if love, of happier men.
Of happier menâ€”for they, at least, Have dream'd two human hearts might blend In one, and were through faith released From isolation without end Prolong'd; nor knew, although not less Alone than thou, their loneliness.