FOREVER - James Macpherson Poems


Poems » james macpherson » forever

"Forever": 'tis a single word!
  Our rude forefathers deemed it two:
Can you imagine so absurd
      A view?

"Forever"! What abysms of woe
  The word reveals, what frenzy, what
Despair! "For ever" (printed so)
      Did not.

It looks, ah me! how trite and tame!
  It fails to sadden or appal
Or solace--it is not the same
      At all.

O thou to whom it first occurred
  To solder the disjoined, and dower
The native language with a word
      Of power:

We bless thee! Whether far or near
  Thy dwelling, whether dark or fair
Thy kingly brow, is neither here
      Nor there.

But in men's hearts shall be thy throne,
  While the great pulse of England beats.
Thou coiner of a word unknown
      To Keats!

And nevermore must printer do
  As men did long ago; but run
"For" into "ever," bidding two
      Be one.

"Forever"! passion-fraught, it throws
  O'er the dim page a gloom, a glamour:
It's sweet, it's strange; and I suppose
      It's grammar.

"Forever"! 'Tis a single word!
  And yet our fathers deemed it two:
Nor am I confident they erred;
      Are you?