YES, thou art gone! and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door,
And pace the floor that covers thee.
May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that, frozen, lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.
Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
'Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o'er,
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
Our time on earth is short, as this heartbreaking poem by Anne Brontë shows. The "lightest heart" she ever knew is dead and buried, and that person's sunny smile can never again gladden her. Despite the nearly palpable sense of how much Brontë misses this gone soul, you get the idea that she is genuinely glad to have known them. She says, "though they transient life is o'er, 'tis sweet to think that thou hast been." Merely knowing that someone so good as the departed in this poem is enough to gladden the whole earth. "A form so near divine" is the way she describes this dead person.
The old adage, "It's better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all" doesn't quite cover it, in this case. It's less personal than that. A person so good and so beloved that their existence has brightened the entire world. It's a warming experience, just reading the poem and trying to imagine the person that could have made Brontë feel that way.