Forget me not!

Forget me not! [1] 

Oh Thou! whom ne'er my constant heart
One moment hath forgot,
Tho' fate severe has bid us part,
Yet still forget me not.
Tho' thee, while tedious moons must pass5
Those eyes have vainly sought;
Tho' tears are vain, nor thou, alas!
Canst hear forget me not.
Yet let not distance from thy breast
My image ever blot,10
Let our fond friendship bear this test,
Absent, forget me not.
When care, and doubt, and cruel fear
With anxious love have fought,
This soothing hope my heart could cheer,15
Thou wilt forget me not.
When Fortune sings her syren song,
And Pleasure guilds thy lot,
When smiling joys around thee throng,
Oh then forget me not!20
When thou once more those scenes shalt view,
That dear remember'd spot,
Will Love each tender word renew,
But chief forget me not?
Where first I shar'd thy smiles, and where25
My hours with bliss were fraught,
Will Fancy still present me there
Sighing forget me not?
When thou the festive band shall join
Will Memory as she ought,30
Making some fond regrets still mine
Bid thee forget me not?
And when some happy, favor'd fair
Enjoys the envied lot,
The graceful dance with thee to share35
Then, thou forget me not.
When the gay swarms around thee fly
To allure thy tender thought,
Ah see my sad, my earnest eye
Bid thee forget me not!40
If thou couldst tear from me that love
My fondest truth hath bought,
Let this forbid thy heart to rove
Forget, forget me not!
Tho' charms and wealth adorn the fair,45
Alas, I boast of nought!
Yet, only yet, our Love compare
Yet ah, forget me not!
If Vanity enchanted tries
To 'excuse' gainst Love the fault,50
Think on thy vows, our mutual sighs
Ah then forget me not!
When Mirth to grace thy social feast
Each happy friend hath brought,
My image fading from thy breast,55
Wilt thou forget me not?
When the full bowl around the board
Hath chas'd each sober thought,
Wilt thou to sense by Love restor'd
Ev'n then forget me not?60
Will Love that delicacy prove,
To vulgar minds untaught,
Forbid thy lips to boast thy love
Yet still forget me not?
When frolick rules the sportive hour65
And Mirth alone is sought,
Ah yet, resist her utmost power
Ah yet, forget me not!
When Fate the golden web destroys
Which Pleasure gaily wrought,70
Tears with destructive hand thy joys,
Oh then forget me not!
When Sorrow comes thy joys to chase
Each hour with anguish fraught,
Still let me in thine heart have place75
Ah still forget me not!
And must thy gentle heart then know
The pangs by Sorrow taught?
And with that heart oppressed by woe
Ev'n then forget me not!80
Must that dear eye be swoln by grief
Be fix'd by torturing thought?
Wilt thou from me expect relief?
Wilt thou forget me not?
Ah no! may favoring Heav'n bestow85
On thee the happiest lot!
Tho' far from me no anguish know
But yet forget me not!
And when at length thou may'st return
Delay and care forgot,90
Like me with fond impatience burn
Ah haste! forget me not!
When that bless'd moment comes at last
Which long I've vainly sought,
I'll own with tears, my sorrows past,95
Thou did'st forget me not.
Wilt thou each suffering sweetly cheer
With this enchanting thought,
That vain was every jealous fear,
Thou couldst forget me not? 100
And when the fatal hour is come
And my last rest is sought,
Oh wilt thou weep upon my tomb
And still forget me not?
When the cold earth this breast shall hide105
And cover every fault,
With thee my heart shall still abide,
Whispering forget me not.
Hov'ring around thee, ever near
To sooth each anxious thought,110
Then know 'tis me, when thou shalt hear
Softly, "forget me not!"


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "Forget me not" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals); the illustration dates the poem to Glamorgan, September 1796 via the banner wrapped around the blue forget-me-nots, which reads "Myosotis scorpoides / forgiss mich nicht / Glamorgan: Sept 1796" (the flower's Latin name, which should be "myosotis scorpiodes," the German for "forget me not," and the place and date). The poem presents an extended translation of the lyrics for Lorenz Schneider's lied "Vergiss Mein Nicht" (falsely attributed to Mozart when it was published in Mainz, 1794):

Vergiss mein nicht, wenn dir die Freude winket,
Und einst der Gram mein liebend Herz verzehrt,
Vergiss mein nicht, wenn dein Vergnügen sinket
Und manchmal das Geshick den Freudentraum zerstört,
Und wenn der Freuden Schwarm sich schmeichelnd um dich schmieget,5
Vielleicht der Neuheit Reiz geprufte Treu besieget,
So hör' wenn still und ernst mein Auge zu dir spricht:
Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht!
Vergiss mein nicht, da jetzt Schicksals Strenge
Dich von mir ruft, uns voneinander trennt,10
Da Mondenfrist, da ganze Jahreslänge
Mein Blick dich nicht mehr find't, mein Mund umsonst dich nennt.
Weih' mir auch jetzt entfernt zuweilen susse Stunden;
Die Freundschaft war ja nie an Ort und Zeit gebunden,
Und denk', dass, wo ich bin, mein Herz zu deinem spricht:15
Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht!
Vergiss mein nicht, wenn lock're kühle Erde
Dies Herz einst deckt das zärtlich, zärtlich für dich shlug;
Denk' dass es dort vollkommner lieben werde,
Als da voll Schwachheit ich's, vielleicht voll Fehler trug.20
Dann soll mein freier Geist oft segnend um dich schweben
Und deinem Geiste Trost und süsse Ahnung geben.
Denk, das ich's sei, wenn's sanft in deiner Seele spricht:
Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht.