A presence both by night and day,
That made my life seem just begun,
Yet scarce a presence, rather say
The warning aureole of one.

And yet I felt it everywhere;
Walked I the woodland's aisles along,
It seemed to brush me with its hair;
Bathed I, I heard a mermaid's song.

How sweet it was! A buttercup
Could hold for me a day's delight,
A bird could lift my fancy up
To ether free from cloud or blight.

Who was the nymph? Nay, I will see,
Methought, and I will know her near;
If such, divined, her charm can be,
Seen and possessed, how triply dear!

So every magic art I tried,
And spells as numberless as sand,
Until, one evening, by my side
I saw her glowing fulness stand.

I turned to clasp her, but 'Farewell,'
Parting she sighed, 'we meet no more;
Not by my hand the curtain fell
That leaves you conscious, wise, and poor.

'Since you nave found me out, I go;
Another lover I must find,
Content his happiness to know,
Nor strive its secret to unwind.

by James Russell Lowell

Comments (3)

The rational bidding of 'for' and 'ever' also stirs the emotional twinge when it grows as 'forever' in the end... And whomsoever to bind that, did it for a good reason I believe... A witty verbal repartee..! ! Great write! !
It is a wonderful analytical poem on the word - forever! Whether it is forever or for ever, it doesn't make any difference! Likewise there are words like sunrise, sunset, nowhere!
Very clever commentary on grammar by Mister Calverly - - perhaps we should rename him Cleverly. This piece is much more thought-provoking and less frivolous than it appears at first glance, and deserves a much higher rating than the 5.7 out of ten given by the 38 voters so far.