Sunday, May 1, 2016

May and Death / Robert Browning

May and Death

I wish that when you died last May,
    Charles, there had died along with you
Three parts of spring's delightful things;
    Ay, and, for me, the fourth part too.

A foolish thought, and worse, perhaps!
    There must be many a pair of friends
Who, arm in arm, deserve the warm
    Moon-births and the long evening-ends.

So, for their sakes, be May still May!
    Let their new time, as mine of old,
Do all it did for me: I bid
    Sweet sights and sounds throng manifold.

Only, one little sight, one plant,
    Woods have in May, that starts up green
Save a sole streak which, so to speak.
    Is spring's blood, spilt its leaves between,—

That, they might spare; a certain wood
    Might miss the plant; their loss were small:
But I,— whene'er the leaf grows there,
    Its drop comes from my heart, that's all.

Robert Browning (1812-1889), 1857
from Dramatis Personae,  1864

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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