An hour ago, an hour ago,
We rested in the shade;
And now, why should we seek to know
What way the wilful waters flow?
There is no fairer glade.
Nay, pleasure flits, and we must sail,
And seek him everywhere;
Perchance in sunset’s golden pale
He listens to the nightingale,
Amid the perfumed air.
Come, he has fled; you are not you,
And I no more am I;
Delight is changeful as the hue
Of heaven, that is no longer blue
In yonder sunset sky.
Nay, if we seek we shall not find,
If we knock none openeth;
Nay, see, the sunset fades behind
The mountains, and the cold night wind
Blows from the house of Death.
’Serai-je nonnette, oui ou non?
Semi-je nonnette? je crois que non.
Derriere chez mon pere
Il est un bois taillis,
Le rossignol y chante
Et le jour et la nuit.
Il chante pour les filles
Qui n’ont pas d’ami;
Il ne chant pas pour moi,
J’en ai un, Dieu merci.’—Old French.
I’ll never be a nun, I trow,
While apple bloom is white as snow,
But far more fair to see;
I’ll never wear nun’s black and white
While nightingales make sweet the night
Within the apple tree.
Ah, listen! ’tis the nightingale,
And in the wood he makes his wail,
Within the apple tree;
He singeth of the sore distress
Of many ladies loverless;
Thank God, no song for me.
For when the broad May moon is low,
A gold fruit seen where blossoms blow
In the boughs of the apple tree,
A step I know is at the gate;
Ah love, but it is long to wait
Until night’s noon bring thee!
Between lark’s song and nightingale’s
A silent space, while dawning pales,
The birds leave still and free
For words and kisses musical,
For silence and for sighs that fall
In the dawn, ’twixt him and me.
LOVE AND WISDOM.
’When last we gathered roses in the garden
I found my wits, but truly you lost yours.’
The Broken Heart.
July and June brought flowers and love
To you, but I would none thereof,
Whose heart kept all through summer time
A flower of frost and winter rime.
Yours was true wisdom—was it not?
Even love; but I had clean forgot,
Till seasons of the falling leaf,
All loves, but one that turned to grief.
At length at touch of autumn tide
When roses fell, and summer died,
All in a dawning deep with dew,
Love flew to me, Love fled from you.
The roses drooped their weary heads,
I spoke among the garden beds;
You would not hear, you could not know,
Summer and love seemed long ago,
As far, as faint, as dim a dream,
As to the dead this world may seem.
Ah sweet, in winter’s miseries,
Perchance you may remember this,
How Wisdom was not justified
In summer time or autumn tide,
Though for this once below the sun,
Wisdom and Love were made at one;
But Love was bitter-bought enough,
And Wisdom light of wing as Love.