06 November 2013

Can Love Forget - An 1849 Poem

Forget thee! If to dream by night,
And muse on thee all day —
If all the worship, deep and wild,
A poet's heart can pay —
If prayers in absence, breathed for thee.
To Heaven's protecting power —
If winged thoughts that flit to thee
A thousand in an hour —
If busy fancy blending thee
With all my future lot —
If thou call'st those "forgetting," thou
Indeed shall be forgot.
Forget thee! Bid the forest birds
Forget their sweetest tune;
Forget thee! Bid the forest birds
To swell beneath the moon
Bid the faint evening flower forget
To drink refreshing dew.
Thyself forget thine dear own land —
Its mountains white and blue.
Forget each old and familiar face,
Each long remembered spot —
When these things are forgot by thee
Then shalt thou be forgot.
Keep, if thou wilt, thy maiden peace
Still calm and fancy free —
For God forbid thy gladsome heart
Should grow less glad for me;
Yet while that heart is still unwon,
Oh! bid not mine to rove —
But let it nurse its humble faith,
And uncomplaining love.
If these, preserved patient years,
At last avail me not —
Forget me then! but ne'er believe,
That thou can'st be forgot.
March 31, 1849. Lincoln Courier 5(3): 1.