By Cloudless Starlight On He Treads, And Thinks No Lamp So Cheering As The Light Which Heaven Sheds.
Variations and History:
This epitaph is the last line from the irish poem I'd Morn The Hopes, by Thomas Moore:
I'd mourn the hopes that leave me,
If thy smiles had left me too;
I'd weep when friends deceive me,
If thou wert, like them, untrue.
But while I've thee before me,
With heart so warm and eyes so bright,
No clouds can linger o'er me,
That smile turns them all to light.
'Tis not in fate to harm me,
While fate leaves thy love to me:
'Tis not in joy to charm me,
Unless joy be shared with thee.
One minute's dream about thee
Were worth a long, an endless year
Of waking bliss without thee,
My own love, my only dear!
And though the hope be gone, love,
That long sparkled o'er our way,
Oh! we shall journey on, love,
More safely, without its ray.
Far better lights shall win me,
Along the path I've yet to roam --
The mind that burns within me,
And pure smiles from thee at home.
Thus, when the lamp that lighted
The traveller at first goes out,
He feels awhile benighted,
And looks round in fear and doubt.
But soon, the prospect clearing,
By cloudless starlight on he treads,
And thinks no lamp so cheering
As the light which Heaven sheds.
- Thomas Moore