Remember him, whom Passion’s power
Severely – deeply – vainly proved:
Remember thou that dangerous hour,
When neither fell, though both were loved.
That yielding breast, that melting eye,
Too much invited to be blessed:
That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh,
The wilder wish reproved, repressed.
Oh! let me feel that all I lost
But saved thee all that Conscience fears;
And blush for every pang it cost
To spare the vain remorse of years.
Yet think of this when many a tongue,
Whose busy accents whisper blame,
Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
And brand a nearly blighted name.
Think that, whate’er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued:
I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in midnight solitude.
Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free;
When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee!
Far may thy days, as heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be past!
And that too bitter moment o’er,
Oh! may such trial be thy last.
This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroyed might there destroy;
To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption’s hope of joy.
Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
Like mine, is wild and worthless all,
That world resign – such scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall.
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness –
Thy soul from long seclusion pure;
From what even here hath passed, may guess
What there thy bosom must endure.
Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
Since not by Virtue shed in vain,
My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
For me they shall not weep again.
Though long and mournful must it be,
The thought that we no more may meet;
Yet I deserve the stern decree,
And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still – had I loved thee less – my heart
Had then less sacrificed to thine;
It felt not half so much to part
As if its guilt had made thee mine.