A YEAR AGO.
One long year ago we met, -
Never since ... This is the place ...
Dust between and tears, - and yet
I would not o'erlive that night!
Will the morning never come?
Yea, lips move, tho' hearts are dumb,
Blind eyes look - and lose the light.
You are wiser now, you say.
So am I: we both have grown
From our old selves quite away.
Voices ring another tone, -
Is it not the same old song?
Oft some half-sung interlude
Voices thro' my solitude,
And one year seems not so long! ...
Still I see you standing there
In the firelight's yellow fall,
And the glimmer of your hair
Fading, - round my heart a pall, -
And my love is dead beneath!
Was it, then, a thing so slight? ...
Strange, to-night returns the night
When you stabb'd it with a breath!
Even now the firelight streams
Bloodlike o'er the figur'd floor,
But a light shines thro' my dreams
Of sweet eyes undream'd before.
And you call me fickle? Then
Would you have me weep - or pray -
Or despair for you alway ? ...
Could I clasp your hand again! ...
Nameless grave has love that's dead!
On that low mound, stain'd with tears,
Falls no light but memory's, shed
Thro' the darkening mists of years. ...
But I see you standing there,
Like the ghost of love arisen,
And to your soul mine in prison
Breathes a sigh that seems a prayer!
Did no shadow fall across
Paths of old together trod?
Still the winds the white wheat toss,
Still the sun-lit golden-rod
Blooms - and love is gone. ... To you
Does it matter, save for pride?
Ah! a phantom stands beside,
And a dream - that comes not true! ...
You struck deep: the old scar burns.
Love is cruel as the grave,
And its fang'd tooth stings. ... Love turns
Nor to listen nor to save! ...
Hark! the midnight drip of rain
Plashes from the hollow eaves;
And a sudden wind-puff heaves
The drawn curtain from the pane. ...
You are faint: your lips are pale,
And your hands - in mine - are cold;
And the wind, - 't is like the wail
Of dead bells for love's death toll'd. ...
I had sworn I saw her face
Over yonder, still and white:
Is there not a glory of light
Round her once accustom'd place? ...
What is left for you, for me,
Save forgetting seasons past
In the years that are to be?
Time its clos'd door holds so fast
'T will not open 'twixt us twain! ...
But I see you standing there
With the firelight in your hair, -
And I hear the drip of rain!