641. To Helene
On a Gift-ring carelessly lost

George Darley. 1795-1846

I SENT a ring--a little band
  Of emerald and ruby stone,
And bade it, sparkling on thy hand,
  Tell thee sweet tales of one
    Whose constant memory
    Was full of loveliness, and thee.

A shell was graven on its gold,--
  'Twas Cupid fix'd without his wings--
To Helene once it would have told
  More than was ever told by rings:
    But now all 's past and gone,
    Her love is buried with that stone.

Thou shalt not see the tears that start
  From eyes by thoughts like these beguiled;
Thou shalt not know the beating heart,
  Ever a victim and a child:
    Yet Helene, love, believe
    The heart that never could deceive.

I'll hear thy voice of melody
  In the sweet whispers of the air;
I'll see the brightness of thine eye
  In the blue evening's dewy star;
    In crystal streams thy purity;
    And look on Heaven to look on thee.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition