Her Portrait Immortal
Must I believe this beauty wholly gone
That in her picture here so deathless seems,
And must I henceforth speak of her as one
Tells of some face of legend or of dreams,
Still here and there remembered - scarce believed,
Or held the fancy of a heart bereaved.
So beautiful she - was; ah! "was," say I,
Yet doubt her dead - I did not see her die.
Only by others borne across the sea
Came the incredible wild blasphemy
They called her death - as though it could be true
Of such an immortality as you!
True of these eyes that from her picture gaze,
Serene, star-steadfast, as the heaven's own eyes;
Of that deep bosom, white as hawthorn sprays,
Where my world-weary head forever lies;
True of these quiet hands, so marble-cool,
Still on her lap as lilies on a pool.
Must I believe her dead - that this sweet clay,
That even from her picture breathes perfume,
Was carried on a fiery wind away,
Or foully locked in the worm-whispering tomb;
This casket rifled, ribald fingers thrust
'Mid all her dainty treasure - is this dust!
Once such a dewy marvel of a girl,
Warm as the sun, and ivory as the moon;
All gone of her, all lost - except this curl
Saved from her head one summer afternoon,
Tied with a little ribbon from her breast -
This only mine, and Death's now all the rest.
Must I believe it true! Bid me not go
Where on her grave the English violets blow;
Nay, leave me - if a dream, indeed, it be -
Still in my dream that she is somewhere she,
Silent, as was her wont. It is a lie -
She is not dead - I did not see her die.
Her Portrait Immortal by Richard Le Gallienne