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The Quest of Love
Lake Como (Lombardy)
BEHOLD! my quest has brought but rue and rime!
I loved the blushing, bounding, singing Spring:
She scarce would pause a day to hear me sing.
I loved her sister, gorgeous, golden Summertime:
She gathered close her robes and rustled past,
Through yellow fields of corn. She scorned to cast
One tender look of love or hope behind;
But, sighing, died upon the Autumn wind.
Oh, then I loved the vast, the lonesome Night:
She, too, passed on in scorn, and perished from my sight.
Oh! lives there nought on all the girdled world,
That may survive one day its sorry birth?
The very Moon grows thin and hunger-curled;
The ardent Sun forgets his love of Earth,
And turns, dark-browed, and draws his reached arms back,
The while she, mourning, moves on, clad in black.
But list! I once did hear the good priest tell
That hell is everlasting. Oh, my friend,
To know that there is aught that may not end!
Now let us kneel and give God thanks that hell is hell.
LAKE COMO, August, 1873.
Return to Folk Songs Page
Miller, Joaquin. Songs of Italy. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1878. 100-101
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