But for thee
I had persisted happy
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book X, 873-4
I had persisted happy until I met you,
And now with but a word you can steal joy.
Sometimes that word is yes, sometimes it’s no,
But at the last the greatest pain was with the word ‘go’.
You corrupted the simplicity of my life alone,
What right was yours that declared that to be wrong?
Now I persist unhappy, in solitude, in anguish,
For I will never meet you again.
In German Romantic poetry, quite an important word is ‘Sensucht’ – longing (I hope I’ve spelt that right). I hope that it’s roughly conveyed in this poem.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic