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To... ``Should my early life seem´´

1. To... ``Should my early life seem´´

Should my early life seem, 

(As well it might,) a dream — 

Yet I build no faith upon 

The king Napoleon — 

I look not up afar 

For my destiny in a star: 


In parting from you now 

Thus much I will avow — 

There are beings, and have been 

Whom my spirit had not seen 

Had I let them pass me by 

With a dreaming eye — 

If my peace hath fled away 

In a night — or in a day — 

In a vision — or in none — 

Is it therefore the less gone? — 


I am standing ’mid the roar 

Of a weather-beaten shore, 

And I hold within my hand 

Some particles of sand — 

How few! and how they creep 

Thro’ my fingers to the deep! 

My early hopes? no — they 

Went gloriously away, 

Like lightning from the sky 

At once — and so will I. 


So young? ah! no — not now — 

Thou hast not seen my brow, 

But they tell thee I am proud — 

They lie — they lie aloud — 

My bosom beats with shame 

At the paltriness of name 

With which they dare combine 

A feeling such as mine — 

Nor Stoic? I am not: 

In the terror of my lot 

I laugh to think how poor 

That pleasure “to endure!” 

What! shade of Zeno! — I! 

Endure! — no — no — defy. 


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