Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  A Vain Wish

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Philip Bourke Marston 1850–87

A Vain Wish

I WOULD not, could I, make thy life as mine;

Only I would, if such a thing might be,

Thou shouldst not, love, forget me utterly;

Yea, when the sultry stars of summer shine

On dreaming woods, where nightingales repine,

I would that at such times should come to thee

Some thought not quite unmix’d with pain, of me,—

Some little sorrow for a soul’s decline.

Yea, too, I would that through thy brightest times,

Like the sweet burden of remember’d rhymes,

That gentle sadness should be with thee, dear;

And when the gates of sleep are on thee shut,

I Would not, even then, it should be mute,

But murmur, shell-like, at thy spirit ’s ear.