Why steals a half-regretful pain
Across my wayward breast
When ere I think of thee, as tho'
We might have been more blest?--
As tho' we'd lost, by some mischance -
Or by some turn of Fate,
Something that might have made to both
A life less desolate! -
Friends? - we're friends - I seek your eyes
And find my answer there --
But still - and yet I cannot wish
To make the name less dear! -
Friends? -- what is friendship? - may I come
And tell you all the changeful thoughts
That torture and beguile? -
Tell you, without a fear or thought
Of harm, or future ill
All of the follies, dreams and hopes
That hold my moodful will?
And we are friends - ah, yes - what then? -
What test can friendship stand?
And yours - 'twill vanish at the touch
Or lifting of the hand! -
Forgive - mon ami - let me plead
A waste of ruined years -
A fair young life whose heritage
Has been a weight of cares! -
The bitter scoff - the haughty doubt -
'Tis not for love now fled -
For all true, love stood my scorn
'Til pity's self was dead!
And I now pause, and think it o'er -
This changeful life of mine -
Why should a half-regret steal in
And bow my soul to thine? -
Enough! I lift a smiling face,
Gold in its dauntless pride,
Unto the darken'd Future, and
Dare all it may betide! -
Yet, friend or foe - come good or ill
I'll not forget the dream -
The "might have been" in days now lost
'Mid things "that only seem."
I had commenced these lines on Friday - it is now about 11 - I expect - Saturday night - and I have just caught up my pen and in a "moment of time" wrote seven verses more! --- Sudden inspiration - a-hem!
The most sensible thing I can do now, it to go to bed - and I'm going! -----