Love, how my soul doth swoon, beseeching thee —
Complaining of the cruelty that time
Doth add to cruel distance; yea, a crime
’Twould even count this violence to me!
Existence proves a dull eternity
Of emptiness, that erst a lovely prime
Has known in summer of that radiant clime
Warmed by the beams of thy sun’s majesty.
Dear Heart, ’tis death to linger thus alone
With this sad burden, which I strive in vain
To bear, well knowing (what has long been known)
That love was never made for less than twain.
O, hear my prayers — my supplicating moan,
And thy sweet presence give to me again!
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 31
beseech = plead with, request fervently, ask eagerly, implore
clime = a place, region, or foreign land, particularly referred to with regard to its climate (usually used in the plural, e.g. “cooler climes”, “hot climes”, “lovely climes”, “Northern climes”, “other climes”, “Southern climes”, “sunny climes”, “warmer climes”)
doth = (archaic) does
erst = (archaic form of “erstwhile”) long ago, in the past, formerly (may also mean: at first)
thee = (archaic) you
thy = (archaic) your
’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”
twain = (archaic) two (from the Old English word “twegen”, meaning “two”); especially known for the phrase “never the twain shall meet” (from the line “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, as used by the poet Rudyard Kipling, at the start of the poem “The Ballad of East and West”, which was included in Barrack-room Ballads and Other Verses, 1892)
’twould = (vernacular) a contraction of “it would”
yea = yes; indeed; truly; an affirmation (especially an affirmative vote), an indication of assent