Between that land and this of dread and doubt,
The silent years have drifted trackless snow;
Hiding the pathway where we wandered out,
Forever from the land of Long Ago.
In the unquiet night,
With all her beauty bright,
She walketh my silent chamber to and fro;
Not twice of the same mind,
And again no cooing dove hath a voice so sweet and low.
Such madness of mirth lies
In the haunting hazel eyes,
When the melody of her laugh charms the listening night;
Its glamour as of old
My charmed senses hold,
Forget I earth and heaven in the pleasures of sense and sight.
With sudden gay caprice
Quaint sonnets doth she seize,
Wedding them unto sweetness, falling from crimson lips;
Holding the broidered flowers
Of those enchanted hours,
When she wound my will with her silk round her white finger-tips.
Then doth she silent stand,
Lifting her slender hand,
On which gleams the ring I tore from his hand at Baywood;
The tiny opal hearts
Are broken in two parts,
And where the ruby burned there hangeth a drop of blood.
Then with my burning cheek,
Raising my head, I speak,
“Lemoine, Lemoine, my lost! Oh, speak to me once, I pray!”
But no word will she deign,
Adown the shining lane,
The long and lustrous lane of the moonlight she glides away.
I fancy oft a stir,
Of wings seem following her,
Trailing a terrible gloom along the oaken floor,
As she walks to and fro;
Louder the strange sounds grow
To a nameless, dreadful horror, that floods the chamber o’er.
And then I raise my head
From terror-haunted bed,
And hush my breath, and my very pulses hush and hark;
But as I glance around,
The stir, the murmuring sound,
Dies away in the moonlight, lying there stiff and stark.
* * * * *
And thus you ever flee,
Elude and baffle me,
My lady you will not always so lightly glide away;
Though on the swiftest breeze,
You sail o’er farthest seas,
Remember, side by side we two will stand one day.
Though my dust feed the wind,
Yours be with prayer consigned
To the keeping of churchyard seraphs and marble saints;
Lemoine, we two shall meet,
And not then at my feet
Will you fetter a late repentance with wiles and tearful plaints.
Repentance and strong,
That would have found a tongue,
And shrieked the truth to heaven with madd’ning din;
The truth of that dread hour,
That black accursed hour,
When to free you from hated fetters, I plunged my soul in sin.
Whatever wise man thinks,
Sin forges strongest links,
You can break them never, although for a time you may hide
Buried in flowers and wine;
This chain of thine and mine,
At the last dread day of doom will draw us side by side.