Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
To M——
By Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855)
From the ‘Poets and Poetry of Poland,’ edited by Paul Soboleski

HENCE from my sight!—I’ll obey at once.
  Hence from my heart!—I hear and understand.
But hence from memory? Nay, I answer, nay!
  Our hearts won’t listen to this last command!
As the dim shadows that precede the night        5
  In deepening circles widen far and near,
So when your image passes from my sight
  It leaves behind a memory all too dear.
In every place—wherever we became
  As one in joy and sorrow that bereft—        10
I will forever be by you the same,
  For there a portion of my soul is left.
When pensively within some lonely room
  You sit and touch your harp’s melodious string,
You will, remembering, sigh in twilight’s gloom,        15
  “I sang for him this song which now I sing.”
Or when beside the chess-board—as you stand
  In danger of a checkmate—you will say,
“Thus stood the pieces underneath my hand
  When ended our last game—that happy day!”        20
When in the quiet pauses at the ball
  You, sitting, wait for music to begin,
A vacant place beside you will recall
  How once I used to sit by you therein.
When on the page that tells how fate’s decree        25
  Parts happy lovers, you shall bend your eyes;
You’ll close the volume, sighing wearily.
  ’Tis but the record of our love likewise.
But if the author after weary years
  Shall bid the current of their lives reblend,        30
You’ll sit in darkness, whispering through your tears,
  “Why does not thus our story find an end?”
When night’s pale lightning darts with fitful flash
  O’er the old pear-tree, rustling withered leaves
The while, the screech-owl strikes your window-sash,        35
  You’ll think it is my baffled soul that grieves.
In every place—in all remembered ways
  Where we have shared together bliss or dole—
Still will I haunt you through the lonely days.
  For there I left a portion of my soul.        40

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