If I Should Lose Thee


IF I should lose thee, darling, and behold
No more thy pallid brow, thy gentle eyes,—
This still unvanquished thought in wondrous guise
Returns to haunt me. On a cloud of gold
Amid the shining vastness of the spheres
I saw thee standing, while with helpless tears
I clung unto thy feet. The huge globes rolled
With strident noises onward, and the bright
And void, compassionless eternity
Beat with its deepening vistas on my sight;
When, lo! my hands wherewith I clung to thee
Grew weak, and with a speed no eye could trace
I sank through all the barren realms of space.


I saw thee drifting, drifting far away,
And fading slowly from my famished eyes,
Like as a star that in the sun-bathed skies
Grows faint and flickers with unsteady ray,
Till ’mid the bright expanses of the day
Its slender life is quenched. “ Oh, thou art lost
To me, and on this aimless whirlwind tossed
My wandering soul forevermore will stray,
Forever seeking thee, forevermore!”
Thus in the depth of my despair I cried,
And echoes from some sounding planet bore
My voice, on trembling pinions, far and wide.
Then desolation round about me spread,
Until methought that God himself were dead.


I wonder oft why God, who is so good,
Has barred so close, so close the gates of death.
I stand and listen with suspended breath
While night and silence round about me brood,
If then perchance some spirit whisper would
Grow audible and pierce my torpid sense.
And oft I feel a presence veiled, intense,
That pulses softly through the solitude;
But as my soul leaps quivering to my ear
To grasp the potent message, all takes flight,
And from the fields and woods I only hear
The murmurous chorus of the summer night.
I am as one that ’s dead — yet in his gloom
Feels faintly song of birds above his tomb.
Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen.