THE MAD LOVER AT THE GRAVE OF HIS MISTRESS
by: Washington Allston (1779-1843)
- tay, gentle Stranger, softly tread!
- Oh, trouble not this hallow'd heap.
- Vile Envy says my Julia's dead;
- But Envy thus will never sleep.
- Ye creeping Zephyrs, hist you, pray,
- Nor press so hard yon wither'd leaves;
- For Julia sleeps beneath this clay--
- Nay, feel it, how her bosom heaves!
- Oh, she was purer than the stream
- That saw the first created morn;
- Her words were like a sick man's dream
- That nerves with health a heart forlorn.
- And who their lot would hapless deem,
- Those lovely, speaking lips to view;
- That light between like rays that beam
- Through sister clouds of rosy hue?
- Yet these were to her fairer soul
- But, as yon op'ning clouds on high
- To glorious worlds that o'er them roll,
- The portals to a brighter sky.
- And shall the glutton worm defile
- This spotless tenement of love,
- That like a playful infant's smile
- Seem'd born of purest light above?
- And yet I saw the sable pall
- Dark-trailing o'er the broken ground--
- The earth did on her coffin fall--
- I heard the heavy, hollow sound.
- Avaunt, thou Fiend! nor tempt my brain
- With thoughts of madness brought from Hell!
- No wo like this of all her train
- Has Mem'ry in her blackest cell.
- 'Tis all a tale of fiendish art--
- Thou com'st, my love, to prove it so!
- I'll press thy hand upon my heart--
- It chills me like a hand of snow!
- Thine eyes are glaz'd, thy cheeks are pale,
- Thy lips are livid, and thy breath
- Too truly tells the dreadful tale--
- Thou comest from the house of death!
- Oh, speak, Beloved! lest I rave;
- The fatal truth I'll bravely meet,
- And I will follow to the grave,
- And wrap me in thy winding sheet.
MORE POEMS BY WASHINGTON ALLSTON
|"The Mad Lover at the Grave of His Mistress" is reprinted from The Sylphs of the Season with Other Poems. Washington Allston. Boston: Cummings and Hillard, 1813.