Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: III. Parodies: Imitations
Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
FOREVER! ’T is a single word!
  Our rude forefathers deemed it two;
Can you imagine so absurd
          A view?
Forever! What abysms of woe        5
  The word reveals, what frenzy, what
Despair! For ever (printed so)
          Did not.
It looks, ah me! how trite and tame;
  It fails to sadden or appall        10
Or solace—it is not the same
          At all.
O thou to whom it first occurred
  To solder the disjoined, and dower
Thy native language with a word        15
          Of power:
We bless thee! Whether far or near
  Thy dwelling, whether dark or fair
Thy kingly brow, is neither here
          Nor there.        20
But in men’s hearts shall be thy throne,
  While the great pulse of England beats:
Thou coiner of a word unknown
          To Keats!
And nevermore must printer do        25
  As men did long ago; but run
“For” into “ever,” bidding two
          Be one.
Forever! passion-fraught, it throws
  O’er the dim page a gloom, a glamour:        30
It ’s sweet, it ’s strange; and I suppose
          It ’s grammar.
Forever! ’T is a single word!
  And yet our fathers deemed it two:
Nor am I confident they erred;—        35
          Are you?

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