Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896


There was a star that lit my life
It hath set to rise no more,
For Heaven, in mercy, withdrew the light
I fain would have knelt before.

There was a flower I pluck’d in my dreams,
Fragrant and fair to see;
Oh, would I had never awoke and found
Such bloom not here for me.

There was a harp, whose magic tone,
Echoed my faintest words
But Destiny’s hand, with a ruthless touch,
Hath rent the golden chords.
There was a path like Eden’s vale,
In which I was spell’d to stray,
But Destiny rose with a flaming sword
To guard that path alway.
I’ve looked on eyes were like the star
Their light is quench’d for me;
And a soul I have known like the golden harp
That breath’d but melody.

And moments bright as that dream‐land
Where bloomed the radiant flower.
Oh! would I had died ere I felt the gloom
Of this dark, joyless hour.

Fatal the time I rais’d mine eyes
To eyes whose light hath blasted
Yet ere I could turn from their glance away,
Life had with gazing wasted.

Bitter the thought that years may pass
Yet thus it must be ever,
To look on thy form, to hear thy voice
But nearer—never, never.

Could I but love as I love the stars,
Or the gush of the twilight breeze,
Or the pale light of the wandering moon
Glancing through forest trees;

With a sinless, calm, untroubled love,
Look upwards and adore
Could I but thus gaze life away,
Without the wish to soar.

In vain! in vain! I hope, I weep,
I kneel the long nights in prayer
Oh! better to die in the noon of life,
Than love, and yet despair.
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