Edmund Clarence Stedman



The Constant Heart

by Edmund Clarence Stedman

SADDE songe is out of season
When birdes and lovers mate,
When soule to soule must paye swete toll
And fate be joyned with fate;
Sadde songe and wofull thought controle
This constant heart of myne,
And make newe love a treason
Unto my Valentine.

How shall my wan lippes utter
Their summons to the dedde, --
Where nowe repeate the promise swete,
So farre my love hath fledd?
My onely love! What musicke fleet
Shall crosse the walle that barres?
To earthe the burthen mutter,
Or singe it to the starrs?

Perchance she dwelles a spirite
In beautye undestroyed
Where brightest starrs are closely sett
Farre out beyonde the voyd;
If Margaret be risen yet
Her looke will hither turne,
I knowe that she will heare it,
And all my trewe heart learne.

But if no resurrection
Unseale her dwellinge low,
If one so fayre must bide her there
Until the trumpe shall blowe,
Nathlesse shall Love outvie Despaire,
(Whilst constant heart is myne)
And, robbed of her perfection,
Be faithfull to her shrine.

At this blythe season bending
Ile whisper to the clodde,
To the chill grasse where shadowes passe
And leaflesse branches nodde;
There keepe my watche, and crye -- Alas
That Love may not forget,
That Joye must have swifte ending
And Life be laggard yet!



Poems now first collected:
Copyright 1897
Houghton, Mifflin And Company
Boston And New York