Thomas Wade (1805-1875)
"Julian and Maddalo"
I read of 'Julian' and 'Count Maddalo'
Till in their spirits' presence stood my soul;
And blending with their sympathy of woe
A tempest woke my thoughts, and they gan roll,
Billow on billow, toward eternity--
And passion's cloud hung over the vast sea.
Where is the essence now that thought and spoke?
Absorbed like water, the frail vessel broke
That held it trembling from the sand awhile?
Or doth it quiver still; and, quivering, smile
At the now cleared-up mystery of creation?
Which shook it once even to its mortal seat,
Which seems the brain and heart, that burn and beat
Till life pants darkly for annihilation.
My piercéd life was all ablood with sorrow
For, suddenly, the veil of beauty thrown
By glorifying youth over sweet to-morrow
Fell, and disclosed to me the future's frown;
Within the wrinkles of whose unread brow
There was a lurking something which till then
I dreamed not hung before the lives of men,
Ready to fall upon them as they grow
Into the longer knowledge of brief years:
Blank vacancy; and doubt; and strangled tears
That never reach the eyelids; vanishing
Of all sweet things we love; death-beds; and graves;
And shadowy wrecks, where pale hopes trembling cling,
Heart-faint, and stifled by continual waves!