More Information about the Poet: Walter Savage Landor
Two quatrains with adjusted lines also with an abab rhyme scheme. When I first look at poem, this goes through my mind before the content because style informs the content here -- and here there's a sense of something out of place, a sort of melancholy.
Mild is the parting year, and sweet
The color of the falling spray;
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
And balmless is its closing day.
Here's the thing with this stanza -- the semi-colon connects the sentence as a direct correlation of time. When the parting year happens there's a very image based connection -- sweet, the color of falling spray which is comparable to life passing away. The key is how to interpret balmless as the lack of smell. The after smell of sweet.
I wait its close, I court its gloom,
But mourn that never must there fall
Or on my breast or on my tomb
The tear that would have soothed it all
This lack of scent or rather the descent in the mood bring in the speaker, and by the looks of it, the speaker is mourning the parting year (maybe a little too hard). The admission of not mourning, in a sense, is admitting that there is a tinge of mourning in the speaker.
The usage of "or" in the second half of the stanza separates two distinct ideas of "breast" and "tomb" -- flesh and after-flesh. Why the separation to the extreme? Note how the "tear that would have soothed it all" flesh and death is ambiguous, but this could most likely be a love that has left along with the year. Yes, love would appease the gloom in the flesh and the tomb.