[Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.]
And cannot pleasures, while they last
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?
And must I then, at Friendship's call,
the little all
(Trifling, I grant, it is and small)
I have of gladness
And lend my being to the thrall
Of gloom and sadness?
And think you that I should be dumb,
And full DOLORUM OMNIUM
Excepting when YOU
choose to come
And share my dinner?
At other times be sour and glum
And daily thinner?
Must he then only live to weep,
Who'd prove his friendship true and deep
By day a lonely shadow
Oft raising in his broken sleep
The moan of anguish?
The lover, if for certain days
His fair one be denied his gaze,
Sinks not in grief and wild amaze,
But, wiser wooer,
He spends the time in writing
And posts them to her.
And if the verse flow free and fast,
Till even the poet
A touching Valentine
The post shall carry,
When thirteen days
are gone and past
Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet,
In desert waste
or crowded street
Perhaps before this week shall fleet,
I trust to find YOUR
heart the seat
Of wasting sorrow.
Lewis Carroll, 1860