Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
By Philip Bourke Marston (1850–1887)
WHEN I and thou are dead, my dear,
  The earth above us lain,
When we no more in autumn hear
  The fall of leaves and rain,
Or round the snow-enshrouded year        5
  The midnight winds complain;
When we no more in green mid-spring,
  Its sights and sounds may mind;
The warm wet leaves set quivering
  With touches of the wind,        10
The birds at morn, and birds that sing
  When day is left behind;
When over all the moonlight lies,
  Intensely bright and still;
When some meandering brooklet sighs,        15
  At parting from its hill;
And scents from voiceless gardens rise,
  The peaceful air to fill;
When we no more through summer light
  The deep, dim woods discern,        20
Nor hear the nightingales at night,
  In vehement singing, yearn
To stars and moon, that, dumb and bright,
  In nightly vigil burn;
When smiles, and hopes, and joys, and fears,        25
  And words that lovers say,
And sighs of love, and passionate tears
  Are lost to us for aye,
What thing of all our love appears,
  In cold and coffin’d clay?        30
When all their kisses, sweet and close,
  Our lips shall quite forget;
When, where the day upon us rose,
  The day shall rise and set,
While we for love’s sublime repose        35
  Shall have not one regret;—
Oh, this true comfort is, I think,
  That, be death near or far,
When we have crossed the fatal brink,
  And found nor moon nor star—        40
To know not, when in death we sink,
  The lifeless things we are.
Yet one thought is, I deem, more kind,
  That when we sleep so well,
On memories that we leave behind,        45
  When kindred spirits dwell,
My name to thine in words they’ll bind
  Of love inseparable.

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