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THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: A LETTER TO CORDELIA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Perchance, on earth, I shall not see thee ever
Last Line: Soothe flowers in spring.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Netherlands; Travel; Holland; Dutch People; Journeys; Trips

PERCHANCE, on earth, I shall not see thee ever
Ever again: and my unwritten years
Are signed out by that desolating "Never,"
And blurred with tears.

'T is hard, so young -- so young as I am still,
To feel forevermore from life depart
All that can flatter the poor human will,
Or fill the heart.

Yet there was nothing in that sweet, and brief,
And perisht intercourse, now closed for me,
To add one thought unto my bitterest grief
Upbraiding thee.

'T is somewhat to have known, albeit in vain,
One woman in this sorrowful bad earth,
Whose very loss can yet bequeathe to pain
New faith in worth.

If I have overrated, in the wild
Blind heat of hope, the sense of aught which hath
From the lost vision of thy beauty smiled
On my lone path,

My retribution is, that to the last
I have o'errated, too, my power to cope
With this fierce thought ... that life must all be past
Without life's hope;

And I would bless the chance which let me see
Once more the comfort of thy face, although
It were with beauty never born for me
That face should glow.

To see thee -- all thou wilt be -- loved and loving --
Even though another's -- in the years to come --
To watch, once more, thy gracious sweetness moving
Through its pure home, --

Even this would seem less desolate, less drear,
Than never, never to behold thee more --
Never on those beloved lips to hear
The voice of yore!

These weak words, O my friend, fell not more fast
Than the weak scalding tears that with them fell.
Nor tears, nor words came, when I saw thee last ...
Enough! ...Farewell.

Farewell. If that dread Power which fashioned man
To till this planet, free to search and find
The secret of his source as best he can,
In his own mind,

Hath any care, apart from that which moves
Earth's myriads through Time's ages as they roll,
For any single human life, or loves
One separate soul,

May He, whose wisdom portions out for me
The moonless, changeless midnight of the heart,
Still all his softest sunshine save for thee,
Where'er thou art:

And if, indeed, not any human eyes
From human tears be free, -- may Sorrow bring
Only to thee her April-rain, whose sighs
Soothe flowers in Spring.

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