Yesterday was an ordinary day. But 23 years ago, the 20th of December was extraordinary. It was a day of infamy, the day nearly 5,000 Filipinos lost their lives in the Doña Paz ferry disaster. With those who still remember and those who have forgotten, we’d like to share the following poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson, who might as well have written it in memory of the victims.
TEARS, IDLE TEARS
By Lord Alfred Tennyson
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.