Ἔμεθεν δ’ ἔχεισθα λάθαν·
Me thou forgettest: thou alone of all
I love the sweet hours failest to recall;
My shell grew vocal for thee once—the spot
Thronged by fond echoes thou rememberest not.
With my dead lovers memory is not dead ;
On me they call from many a violet-bed
Of the still country ; or in cloudy throng
Fill the wide meads with my remembered song.
Though I should meet them in the shadows, wet
With Lethe, they would give me welcome yet;
There would be flicker of a smile beneath
Their wan, memorial twines of myrtle-wreath.
Regret—it is the lover's, poet's sign ;
Of Zeus and Memory the sacred Nine
Themselves are offspring ; each enduring strain
Springs from the issues of an ancient pain.
'Tis for his dead girl-love Apollo weaves
His poet's crown of deathless laurel-leaves ;
By Ladon's river long must slowly bleed
Pan's heart ere music permeate his reed.
But thou who, walking under evening skies,
Can'st see the stars, can'st see the clear moon rise,
Unmindful how 'neath her low orb we stood
As by an altar in the olive-wood—
Oblivion guard thy tomb ! Ah, witless sting !
They cannot be forgotten whom I sing ;
For this thy brief forgetfulness of me
Thou shalt have everlasting infamy.