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

Hamilton Aïdé b. 1829

Remember or Forget

I SAT beside the streamlet,

I watch’d the water flow,

As we together watch’d it

One little year ago:

The soft rain patter’d on the leaves,

The April grass was wet.

Ah! folly to remember;

’T is wiser to forget.

The nightingales made vocal

June’s palace pav’d with gold;

I watch’d the rose you gave me

Its warm red heart unfold;

But breath of rose and bird’s song

Were fraught with wild regret.

’T is madness to remember;

’T were wisdom to forget.

I stood among the gold corn,

Alas! no more, I knew,

To gather gleaner’s measure

Of the love that fell from you.

For me, no gracious harvest—

Would God we ne’er had met!

’T is hard, Love, to remember, but

’T is harder to forget.

The streamlet now is frozen,

The nightingales are fled,

The cornfields are deserted,

And every rose is dead.

I sit beside my lonely fire,

And pray for wisdom yet:

For calmness to remember,

Or courage to forget.