Dirge (“If Thou…”)

If thou wilt ease thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
      Then sleep, dear, sleep;
And not a sorrow
   Hang any tear on your eyelashes;
      Lie still and deep,
   Sad soul, until the sea-wave washes
The rim o’ the sun to-morrow,
      In eastern sky.

But wilt thou cure thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
      Then die, dear, die;
‘Tis deeper, sweeter,
   Than on a rose bank to lie dreaming
      With folded eye;
   And then alone, amid the beaming
Of love’s stars, thou’lt meet her
      In eastern sky.

[Keelsall, 1851]