Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that Which within its boughs like a Spirit sat, Ere its outward form had known decay, Now felt this change, I cannot say.
Whether that Lady's gentle mind, No longer with the form combined Which scattered love, as stars do light, Found sadness, where it left delight,
I dare not guess; but in this life Of error, ignorance, and strife, Where nothing is, but all things seem, And we the shadows of the dream,
It is a modest creed, and yet Pleasant if one considers it, To own that death itself must be, Like all the rest, a mockery.
That garden sweet, that lady fair, And all sweet shapes and odours there, In truth have never passed away: 'Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they.
For love, and beauty, and delight, There is no death nor change: their might Exceeds our organs, which endure No light, being themselves obscure.
NOTES: _19 lovely Harvard manuscript, 1839; lively 1820. _23 of the morning 1820, 1839; of morning Harvard manuscript. _26 snow Harvard manuscript, 1839; now 1820. _28 And lilies were drooping, white and wan Harvard manuscript. _32 Leaf by leaf, day after day Harvard manuscript; Leaf after leaf, day after day 1820; Leaf after leaf, day by day 1839. _63 mist]mists Harvard manuscript. _96 and sudden flight]and their sudden flight the Harvard manuscript. _98 And under]Under Harvard manuscript. _114 Whether]And if Harvard manuscript. _118 Whether]Or if Harvard manuscript.