Francis Thompson

(16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907 / Preston, England)

After Her Going


The after-even! Ah, did I walk,
Indeed, in her or even?
For nothing of me or around
But absent She did leaven,
Felt in my body as its soul,
And in my soul its heaven.

'Ah me! my very flesh turns soul,
Essenced,' I sighed, 'with bliss!'
And the blackbird held his lutany,
All fragrant-through with bliss;
And all things stilled were as a maid
Sweet with a single kiss.

For grief of perfect fairness, eve
Could nothing do but smile;
The time was far too perfect fair,
Being but for a while;
And ah, in me, too happy grief
Blinded herself with smile!

The sunset at its radiant heart
Had somewhat unconfest:
The bird was loath of speech, its song
Half-refluent on its breast,
And made melodious toyings with
A note or two at best.

And she was gone, my sole, my Fair,
Ah, sole my Fair, was gone!
Methinks, throughout the world 'twere right
I had been sad alone;
And yet, such sweet in all things' heart,
And such sweet in my own!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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