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The October Night
by [?]

Poet, enough! Though but one single day
Lasted thy dream of her who faithless proved,
That day insult not; whatsoe’er thou say,
Respect thy love, if thou would be beloved.
If human weakness find the task too great
Of pardoning the wrongs by others done,
At least the torture spare thyself of hate,
In place of pardon seek oblivion.
The dead lie peaceful in the earth asleep,
So our extinguished passions too, should rest.
Dust are those relics also; let us keep
Our hands from violence to their ashes blest.
Why, in this story of keen pain, my friend,
Wilt thou refuse naught but a dream to see?
Does Nature causeless act, to no wise end?
Think’st thou a heedless God afflicted thee?
Mayhap the blow thou weepest was to save.
Child, it has oped thy heart to seek relief;
Sorrow is lord to man, and man a slave,
None knows himself till he has walked with grief,–
A cruel law, but none the less supreme,
Old as the world, yea, old as destiny.
Sorrow baptizes us, a fatal scheme;
All things at this sad price we still must buy.
The harvest needs the dew to make it ripe,
And man to live, to feel, has need of tears.
Joy chooses a bruised plant to be her type,
That, drenched with rain, still many a blossom bears.
Didst thou not say this folly long had slept?
Art thou not happy, young, a welcome guest?
And those light pleasures that give life its zest,
How wouldst thou value if thou hadst not wept?
When, lying in the sunlight on the grass,
Freely thou drink’st with some old friend–confess,
Wouldst thou so cordially uplift thy glass,
Hadst thou not weighed the worth of cheerfulness?
Would flowers be so dear unto thy heart,
The verse of Petrarch, warblings of the bird,
Shakespeare and Nature, Angelo and Art,
But that thine ancient sobs therein thou heard?
Couldst thou conceive the ineffable peace of heaven,
Night’s silence, murmurs of the wave that flows,
If sleeplessness and fever had not driven
Thy thought to yearn for infinite repose?
By a fair woman’s love art thou not blest?
When thou dost hold and clasp her hand in thine,
Does not the thought of woes that once possessed,
Make all the sweeter now her smile divine?
Wander ye not together, thou and she,
Midst blooming woods, on sands like silver bright?
Does not the white wraith of the aspen-tree
In that green palace, mark the path at night?
And seest thou not, within the moon’s pale ray,
Her lovely form sink on thy breast again?
If thou shouldst meet with Fortune on thy way,
Wouldst thou not follow singing, in her train?
What hast thou to regret? Immortal Hope
Is shaped anew in thee by Sorrow’s hand.
Why hate experience that enlarged thy scope?
Why curse the pain that made thy soul expand?
Oh pity her! so false, so fair to see,
Who from thine eyes such bitter tears did press,
She was a woman. God revealed to thee,
Through her, the secret of all happiness.
Her task was hard; she loved thee, it may be,
Yet must she break thy heart, so fate decreed.
She knew the world, she taught it unto thee,
Another reaps the fruit of her misdeed.
Pity her! dreamlike did her love disperse,
She saw thy wound–nor could thy pain remove.
All was not falsehood in those tears of hers–
Pity her, though it were,–for thou canst love!

True! Hate is blasphemy.
With horror’s thrill, I start,
This sleeping snake to see,
Uncoil within my heart.
Oh Goddess, hear my cries,
My vow to thee is given,
By my beloved’s blue eyes,
And by the azure heaven,
By yonder spark of flame,
Yon trembling pearl, the star
That beareth Venus’ name,
And glistens from afar,
By Nature’s glorious scheme,
The infinite grace of God,
The planet’s tranquil beam
That cheers the traveler’s road,
The grass, the water-course,
Woods, fields with dew impearled,
The quenchless vital force,
The sap of all the world,–
I banish from my heart
This reckless passion’s ghost,
Mysterious shade, depart!
In the dark past be lost!
And thou whom once I met
As friend, while thou didst live,
The hour when I forget,
I likewise should forgive.
Let me forgive! I break
The long-uniting spell.
With a last tear, oh take,
Take thou, a last farewell.
Now, gold-haired, pensive Muse,
On to our pleasures! Sing–
Some joyous carol choose,
As in the dear old Spring.
Mark, how the dew-drenched lawn
Scents the auroral hour.
Waken my love with dawn,
And pluck her garden’s flower.
Immortal nature, see!
Casts slumber’s veil away.
New born with her are we
In morning’s earliest ray.