Heimkehr (The Return).

That was a day of bitter smart,1
The day that witnessed our farewell,2
When thou didst turn thee from a heart3
Thine own, and passing rich as well.4
I know too well my fault was great,5
Yet less than that thy memory kept,6
And I have borne its woeful weight,7
And tears of blood my sin hath wept.8
And years have passed, and now my star9
Conducts me near thy paths once more,10
I feel anew my bosom’s war,11
The joy and pain well known of yore.12
Methinks from thee I would not sever,13
And I would speak the word “ Forgive !”14
For, though the world would part us ever,15
Thou’rt loved and lovely, and I live.16
If to new aims I turned away,17
Through joy and sorrow struggling free,18
Yet through life’s various hazard-play19
My thought would still come home to thee.20
I strove for pleasure, honour, truth,21
Prizes I won, and wear them now ;22
Yet boon is none so rich as youth23
The boon of youth to me wert thou.24