Byron !— Rousseau !— and thou the youngest and1
Yet oldest in affliction—Shelley ! ye2
Whose bread was bitterness, I here command3
Your presence, Misery’s immortal Three !4
For if henceforth the torn heart’s agony5
The never-resting vulture’s torture fell6
If trust betray’d—youth blighted—life lost, be7
O’er the grim portals of the past a spell,8
Come from your heaven—ay—or from the bigot’s hell !9
Were ye not born with love for ever rushing10
And leaping through your being’s deepest blood ?11
Sought ye not vain as ceaselessly the gushing12
Of human sympathy’s forbidden flood ?13
Across the music of your softest mood14
Did not the world its grating discord send ?15
Then may I claim with ye sad brotherhood16
Unloved, I love—faithful, I find no friend17
And life with me, as ye, wanes lonely to its end.18
Then come and watch with me—for, like ye, I19
Drunken with sadness have raved forth in song20
And if not, haply, so transcendently21
That my voice peals the universe along22
Yet can I speak your language, lonely throng !23
And see—like yours—my cheek is wan and wet24
And my heart, too, is broken with its wrong25
Then come with your sad smiles, and say, there yet,26
Exists a shadowy land for those who would forget.27