Time, Hope, And Memory
by Thomas Hood
I heard a gentle maiden, in the spring,
Set her sweet sighs to music, and thus sing:
Fly through the world, and I will follow thee,
Only for looks that may turn back on me;
Only for roses that your chance may throw --
Though withered -- I will wear them on my brow,
To be a thoughtful fragrance to my brain;
Warmed with such love, that they will bloom again.
Thy love before thee, I must tread behind,
Kissing thy foot-prints, though to me unkind;
But trust not all her fondness, though it seem,
Lest thy true love should rest on a false dream.
Her face is smiling, and her voice is sweet:
But smiles betray, and music sings deceit;
And words speak false; -- yet, if they welcome prove,
I'll be their echo, and repeat their love.
Only if wakened to sad truth, at last,
The bitterness to come, and sweetness past;
When thou art vext, then, turn again, and see
Thou hast loved Hope, but Memory loved thee.
Source:The Poetical Works Of Thomas Hood
Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and Company