Poetry Corner

Gone with the Swallows

By Ameen Rihani

Must I convey at last the news to thee?
Must I now mourn the love that lived in me?
Gone with the autumn, with the dying year.
Gone with the kisses that are yet so near!
Gone with the swallows somewhere o’er the sea!
But with the Spring will he again
Return, will he with me remain?
Must I till then, remembering naught,
Forgetting all that love had brought,
Grope in the shadows of the slain?
Must I forget the day
That took my love away,
And all the happy hours
That reared for him their towers
And crowned him with the flowers
Of all the queens of May?
Must I alone
My once my own,
In my retreat
The new year greet,
And winter meet,
And winds hear moan?
Not yet
Can I
Forget;
But why
One clings
And sings
To things
That die?

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on April 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this poem: “Gone with the Swallows” appeared in Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905).

About this poet: Ameen Rihani, born on November 24, 1876, in Ottoman Syria (present-day Lebanon), was a Lebanese American poet, essayist, and political activist from the Mahjar, a literary movement of the Arab diaspora. He was the author of many titles, including The Book of Khalid (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1911). He died on September 13, 1940.

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