Sidney Lanier

To J. D. H.

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Dear friend, forgive a wild lament
Insanely following thy flight
I would not cumber thine ascent
Nor drag thee back into the night;

But the great sea-winds sigh with me,
The fair-faced stars seem wrinkled, old,
And I would that I might lie with thee
There in the grave so cold, so cold!

Grave walls are thick, I cannot see thee,
And the round skies are far and steep;
A-wild to quaff some cup of Lethe,
Pain is proud and scorns to weep.

My heart breaks if it cling about thee,
And still breaks, if far from thine.
O drear, drear death, to live without thee,
O sad life -- to keep thee mine.

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Sidney Lanier