I might not weep for thee!But I forget, when by thy side,
That thou could'st mortal be.It never through my mind had pass'd,
The time would e'er be o'er,And I on thee should look my last,
And thou should'st smile no more.
And still upon that face I look,
And think 'twill smile again;And still the thought I will not brook,
That I must look in vain!But when I speak - thou dost not say,
What thou ne'er left'st unsaid;And now I feel, as well I may,
Sweet Mary! - thou art dead!
If thou would'st stay, even as thou art,
All cold and all serene -I still might press thy silent heart,
And where thy smiles have been!While even thy chill bleak corse I have,
Thou seemest still mine own:But there I lay thee in the grave -
And I am now alone.
I do not think, where'er thou art,
Thou hast forgotten me;And I, perhaps, may soothe this heart,
In thinking too of thee -Yet there was round thee such a dawn
Of light ne'er seen before,As fancy never could have drawn,
And never can restore!
"He was asked whether he had any real incident in view, or had witnessed any immediate occurrence which might have prompted these lines. His reply was, he had not; but that he had sung the air over and over, till he had burst into a flood of tears, in which mood he composed the words."
These stanzas are by the author of the "Burial of Sir John Moore," and were given to the world in an interesting review of "Wolfe's Remains," in the Edinburgh Philogical Library. It appeared that one of his favorite melodies, "Grammachree," he never heard without being deeply affected by its deep and tender expression, but he thought that no words had ever been written for it that came up to his idea of the peculiar pathos which pervades the whole strain. They all appeared to him to want individuality of feeling. At the desire of a friend, he gave his own conception of it in these verses, which seems hard to read, perhaps impossible to hear sung without tears.