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A Dead Friend

Gone, O gentle heart and true, Friend of hopes foregone, Hopes and hopeful days with you Gone? Days of old that shone Saw what none shall see anew, When we gazed thereon.
Soul as clear as sunlit dew, Why so soon pass on, Forth from all we loved and knew Gone? II.
Friend of many a season fled, What may sorrow send Toward thee now from lips that said 'Friend'? Sighs and songs to blend Praise with pain uncomforted Though the praise ascend? Darkness hides no dearer head: Why should darkness end Day so soon, O dear and dead Friend? III.
Dear in death, thou hast thy part Yet in life, to cheer Hearts that held thy gentle heart Dear.
Time and chance may sear Hope with grief, and death may part Hand from hand's clasp here: Memory, blind with tears that start, Sees through every tear All that made thee, as thou art, Dear.
True and tender, single-souled, What should memory do Weeping o'er the trust we hold True? Known and loved of few, But of these, though small their fold, Loved how well were you! Change, that makes of new things old, Leaves one old thing new; Love which promised truth, and told True.
Kind as heaven, while earth's control Still had leave to bind Thee, thy heart was toward man's whole Kind.
Thee no shadows blind Now: the change of hours that roll Leaves thy sleep behind.
Love, that hears thy death-bell toll Yet, may call to mind Scarce a soul as thy sweet soul Kind.
How should life, O friend, forget Death, whose guest art thou? Faith responds to love's regret, How? Still, for us that bow Sorrowing, still, though life be set, Shines thy bright mild brow.
Yea, though death and thou be met, Love may find thee now Still, albeit we know not yet How.
Past as music fades, that shone While its life might last; As a song-bird's shadow flown Past! Death's reverberate blast Now for music's lord has blown Whom thy love held fast.
Dead thy king, and void his throne: Yet for grief at last Love makes music of his own Past.

Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne
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