ON THE DEATH OF GARCILASSO
Tell me, dear Garcilasso,—thou
Who ever aimedst at good,
And in the spirit of thy vow
So swift her course pursued
That thy few steps sufficed to place
The angel in thy loved embrace,
Won instant soon as wooed,—
Why took'st thou not, when winged to flee
From this dark world, Boscán, with thee?
Why, when ascending to the star
Where now thou sit'st enshrined,
Left'st thou thy weeping friend afar,
Alas! so far behind?
Oh, I do think, had it remained
With thee to alter aught ordained
By the Eternal Mind,
Thou wouldst not on this desert spot
Have left thy other self forgot!
For if through life thy love was such
As still to take a pride
In having me so oft and much
Close to thy envied side,—
I cannot doubt, I must believe,
Thou wouldst at least have taken leave
Of me; or, if denied,
Have come back afterwards, unblest
Till I too shared thy heavenly rest.
Translation by Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen