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

Philip Bourke Marston 1850–87

If You Were Here

O LOVE, if you were here

This dreary, weary day,—

If your lips, warm and dear,

Found some sweet word to say,—

Then hardly would seem drear

These skies of wintry gray.

But you are far away,—

How far from me, my dear!

What cheer can warm the day?

My heart is chill with fear,

Pierced through with swift dismay;

A thought has turn’d Life sere:

If you from far away

Should come not back, my dear;

If I no more might lay

My hand on yours, nor hear

That voice, now sad, now gay,

Caress my listening ear;

If you from far away

Should come not more, my dear,—

Then with what dire dismay

Year joined to hostile year

Would frown, if I should stay

Where memories mock and jeer!

But I would come away

To dwell with you, my dear;

Through unknown worlds to stray,—

Or sleep; nor hope, nor fear,

Nor dream beneath the clay

Of all our days that were.