A happy lover who has come
To look on her that loves him well,
Who ‘lights and rings the gateway bell,
And learns her gone and far from home;
He saddens, all the magic light
Dies off at once from bower and hall,
And all the place is dark, and all
The chambers emptied of delight:
So find I every pleasant spot
In which we two were wont to meet,
The field, the chamber, and the street,
For all is dark where thou art not.
Yet as that other, wandering there
In those deserted walks, may find
A flower beat with rain and wind,
Which once she foster’d up with care;
So seems it in my deep regret,
O my forsaken heart, with thee
And this poor flower of poesy
Which little cared for fades not yet.
But since it pleased a vanish’d eye,
I go to plant it on his tomb,
That if it can it there may bloom,
Or, dying, there at least may die.
This is a weak literary imagination, designed to characterise his poem as a flower laid on Hallam’s tomb. The picture of the disappointed lover is a bit forced, especially in his finding of a flower which his lady had cherished lying in the walkway. I am reminded of the bereaved people who have told me of strange affecting incidents and co-incidences related to the lost loved one, which reveal more of their own desire for meaning, than of any reality.