Text of the Poem

[First published, Poems, 1816.]


When we two parted
          ⁠In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
          ⁠To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
          ⁠Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
          ⁠Sorrow to this.


The dew of the morning
          ⁠Sunk chill on my brow—
It felt like the warning
          ⁠Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
          ⁠And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
          ⁠And share in its shame.


They name thee before me,
          ⁠A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me—
          ⁠Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
          ⁠Who knew thee too well:—
Long, long shall I rue thee,
          ⁠Too deeply to tell.


In secret we met—
          ⁠In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
          ⁠Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
          ⁠After long years,
How should I greet thee?—
          ⁠With silence and tears.