SIT still – a word – a breath may break
(As light airs stir a sleeping lake,)
The glassy calm that soothes my woes,
The sweet, the deep, the full repose.
O leave me not ! for ever be
Thus, more than life itself to me !
Yes, close beside thee, let me kneel –
Give me thy hand that I may feel
The friend so true – so tried – so dear,
My heart’s own chosen – indeed is near;
And check me not – this hour divine
Belongs to me – is fully mine.
‘Tis thy own hearth thou sitt’st beside,
After long absence – wandering wide;
‘Tis thy own wife reads in thine eyes,
A promise clear of stormless skies,
For faith and true love light the rays,
Which shine responsive to her gaze.
Aye, – well that single tear may fall;
Ten thousand might mine eyes recall,
Which from their lids, ran blinding fast,
In hours of grief, yet scarcely past,
Well may’st thou speak of love to me;
For, oh ! most truly – I love thee !
Yet smile – for we are happy now.
Whence, then, that sadness on thy brow ?
What say’st thou ? ‘ We must once again,
Ere long, be severed by the main ? ‘
I knew not this – I deemed no more,
Thy step would err from Britain’s shore.
‘ Duty commands ?’ ‘Tis true – ’tis just;
Thy slightest word I wholly trust,
Nor by request, nor faintest sigh
Would I, to turn thy purpose, try;
But, William – hear my solemn vow –
Hear and confirm ! – with thee I go.
‘ Distance and suffering,’ did’st thou say ?
‘ Danger by night, and toil by day ?’
Oh, idle words, and vain are these;
Hear me ! I cross with thee the seas.
Such risk as thou must meet and dare,
I – thy true wife – will duly share.
Passive, at home, I will not pine;
Thy toils – thy perils, shall be mine;
Grant this – and be hereafter paid
By a warm heart’s devoted aid:
‘Tis granted – with that yielding kiss,
Entered my soul unmingled bliss.
Thanks, William – thanks ! thy love has joy,
Pure – undefiled with base alloy;
‘Tis not a passion, false and blind,
Inspires, enchains, absorbs my mind;
Worthy, I feel, art thou to be
Loved with my perfect energy.
This evening, now, shall sweetly flow,
Lit by our clear fire’s happy glow;
And parting’s peace-embittering fear,
Is warned, our hearts to come not near;
For fate admits my soul’s decree,
In bliss or bale – to go with thee!