Heu! spes nequiequam dulces, atque irrita vota!
When the bitter source of sorrow,
When the last farewell is sigh'd,
With no hope to cheer to-morrow,
Joy's kind promises denied:
Yet we dwell with ling'ring pleasure5
On that distant, doubtful day;
Which may yield us back our treasure
All our sorrows to repay;
Can the tender heart declare,
Meeting what it fondly loves,10
Why the bliss cannot compare
With the pang which parting proves?
Happy hour, so long expected,
Joy impatiently desired!
Disappointed, half dejected,15
What have I from thee acquired?
Take again the transient pleasure,
Willingly I yield it up,
But restore my dearest treasure,
Give me back delicious Hope!20
 EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hope" does not appear in Psyche, with Other
Poems or Mary (and is undated in Verses) but is printed without a title or
epigraph in Selena (the source text for Collected Poems and Journals), where it is attributed
to the character Edwin Stanmore. The E.I. Fox manuscript transcription of this poem in the Belfast Public Library offers the alternate title
"Le Retour De mon ami" (“the return of my friend”). BACK
 EDITOR'S NOTE: Thomas Gray, De Principiis Cogitandi (1775), 2.15: "Alas! Sweet hope in vain and vain prayer." BACK