Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MEMENTO MORI, by JOHANNA AMBROSIUS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MEMENTO MORI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, could I but once more have gazed into
Last Line: Oh, could I but once more into thine eyes have gazed!
Subject(s): Death; Love - Loss Of; Dead, The

OH, could I but once more have gazed into
Thy hazel eyes, which, like the flame eternal,
The worn and weary soul doth penetrate!
From distant childhood's days
Still echoes in mine ear
Tones of thy voice so sweet,
With which thou so oft didst greet
Me in the twilight hour,
When, with their secret fibres,
My thoughts and all my dreaming
To thee clung!
When thou didst press my hand so warmly,
With all the ardor of thy heart,
How woke in mine the joyous dawning
Presentiment of some great future bliss!
Then Fate thee summoned forth into Life's whirlpool.
With joy didst thou obey;
Its fullest draught of pleasure
Didst quaff, and in the golden wealth of Fortune
Only too soon forgotten
Was vow, which, weeping, thou in
Parting mad'st.
For, ah! full soon didst thou another flow'r
Cherish thy heart within,
Exulting sang to her the self-same
Songs which my own still, peaceful chamber
To holy temple erst transformed.
Upon thy knees she sat, from thy white
Brow the raven silky locks so gently stroking,
As I so oft had done in former
Years, when, of thy woes to me complaining,
With kisses sweet the words
I fain would speak from my lips taking.
Could I have seen thee only once again,
As thou, by joy encompassed,
Standing on Fame's proud heights,
All sudden sank the night of death into!
Within Love's arms thou wilt sleep on forever.
Unboding wert thou, like a victor
Who, on his home's dear threshold
Stricken by death, falls prone.
How many tears have flowed
To mourn thy death untimely,
How thy deserted love her hands in grief has wrung,
Are things I cannot know.
I can but pray in morning, noonday, evening:
Oh, could I but once more into thine eyes have gazed!

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