Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: TO CORDELIA, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON

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THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: TO CORDELIA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I do not blame thee, that my life
Last Line: Have nothing left to dread.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Hope; Netherlands; Travel; Optimism; Holland; Dutch People; Journeys; Trips

I DO not blame thee, that my life
Is lonelier now than even before;
For hadst thou been, indeed, my wife,
(Vain dream that cheats no more!)

The fate, which from my earliest years
Hath made so dark the path I tread,
Had taught thee too, perchance, such tears
As I have learned to shed.

And that fixed gloom, which souls like mine
Are schooled to wear with stubborn pride,
Had cast too dark a shade o'er thine, --
Hadst thou been by my side.

I blame thee not, that thou shouldst flee
From paths where only weeds have sprung,
Though loss of thee is loss to me
Of all that made youth young.

For 't is not mine, and 't was not thine,
To shape our course as first we strove:
And powers which I could not combine
Divide me from thy love.

Alas! we cannot choose our lives, --
We can but bear the burthen given.
In vain the feverish spirit strives
With unrelenting heaven.

For who can bid those tyrant stars
The injustice of their laws repeal?
Why ask who makes our prison bars,
Since they are made of steel?

The star that rules my darkened hour
Is fixt in reachless spheres on high:
The curse which foils my baffled power
Is scrawled across the sky.

My heart knows all it felt, and feels:
But more than this I shall not know,
Till He that made the heart reveals
Why mine must suffer so.

I only know that, never yet,
My life hath found what others find, --
That peace of heart which will not fret
The fibres of the mind.

I only know that not for me
The human love, the clasp, the kiss;
My love in other worlds must be, --
Why was I born in this?

The bee is framed to find her food
In every wayside flower and bell
And build within the hollow wood
Her own ambrosial cell:

The spider hath not learned her art,
A home in ruined towers to spin;
But what it seeks, my heart, my heart
Is all unskilled to win.

The world was filled, ere I was born,
With man and maid, with bower and brake,
And nothing but the barren thorn
Remained for me to take:

I took the thorn, I wove it round,
I made a piercing crown to wear:
My own sad hands myself have crowned,
Lord of my own despair.

That which we are, we are. 'T were vain
To plant with toil what will not grow.
The cloud will break, and bring the rain,
Whether we reap or sow.

I cannot turn the thunder-blast,
Nor pluck the levin's lurid root;
I cannot change the changeless past,
Nor make the ocean mute.

And if the bolt of death must fall
Where, bare of head, I walk my way,
Why let it fall! I will not call
To bid the Thunderer stay.

'T is much to know, whate'er betide
The pilgrim path I pace alone,
Thou wilt not miss me from thy side
When its brief course is done.

Hadst thou been mine, -- when skies were drear
And waves were rough, for thy sweet sake
I should have found in all some fear
My inmost breast to shake:

But now, his fill the blast may blow,
The sea may rage, the thunder roll,
For every path by which I go
Will reach the self-same goal.

Too proud to fly, too weak to cope,
I yet will wait, nor bow my head.
Those who have nothing left to hope,
Have nothing left to dread.

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