Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  I Think on Thee

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

Thomas Kibble Hervey 1799–1859

I Think on Thee

I THINK on thee in the night,

When all beside is still,

And the moon comes out, with her pale, sad light,

To sit on the lonely hill;

When the stars are all like dreams,

And the breezes all like sighs,

And there comes a voice from the far-off streams

Like thy spirit’s low replies.

I think on thee by day,

’Mid the cold and busy crowd,

When the laughter of the young and gay

Is far too glad and loud.

I hear thy soft, sad tone,

And thy young, sweet smile I see:

My heart—my heart were all alone,

But for its dreams of thee!

Of thee who wert so dear,—

And yet I do not weep,

For thine eyes were stain’d by many a tear

Before they went to sleep;

And, if I haunt the past,

Yet may I not repine

That thou hast won thy rest, at last,

And all the grief is mine.

I think upon thy gain,

Whate’er to me it cost,

And fancy dwells with less of pain

On all that I have lost,—

Hope, like the cuckoo’s oft-told tale,

Alas, it wears her wing!

And love that, like the nightingale,

Sings only in the spring.

Thou art my spirit’s all,

Just as thou wert in youth,

Still from thy grave no shadows fall

Upon my lonely truth;

A taper yet above thy tomb,

Since lost its sweeter rays,

And what is memory, through the gloom,

Was hope, in brighter days.

I am pining for the home

Where sorrow sinks to sleep,

Where the weary and the weepers come,

And they cease to toil and weep.

Why walk about with smiles

That each should be a tear,

Vain as the summer’s glowing spoils

Flung o’er an early bier?

Oh, like those fairy things,

Those insects of the East,

That have their beauty in their wings,

And shroud it while at rest;

That fold their colors of the sky

When earthward they alight,

And flash their splendors on the eye,

Only to take their flight;—

I never knew how dear thou wert,

Till thou wert borne away!

I have it yet about my heart,

The beauty of that day!

As if the robe thou wert to wear,

Beyond the stars, were given

That I might learn to know it there,

And seek thee out, in heaven!