Ralph Waldo Emerson: To Ellen

To Ellen

And Ellen, when the graybeard years   Have brought us to life's evening hour, And all the crowded Past appears   A tiny scene of sun and shower,  Then, if I read the page aright   Where Hope, the soothsayer, reads our lot, Thyself shalt own the page was bright,   Well that we loved, woe had we not,  When Mirth is dumb and Flattery's fled,   And mute thy music's dearest tone, When all but Love itself is dead   And all but deathless Reason gone.