Then, with great
dread and wail,
Fall down, like storms of hail,
The legions of the lost in fearful wise;
And they whose blissful race
Peoples the better place,
Lift up their wings to cover their fair eyes,
And through the waxing saffron brede,
Till they are lost in light, recede, and yet recede.
So while the fields
And the red sun his rim
First heaves, in token of his reign benign,
All stars the most admired,
Into their blue retired,
Lie hid,—the faded moon forgets to shine,—
And, hurrying down the sphery way,
Night flies, and sweeps her shadows from the paths of day.
But look! the
Calm after solemn rest,
Stands in the garden ’neath His olive boughs;
The earliest smile of day
Doth on His vesture play,
And light the majesty of His still brows;
While angels hang with wings outspread,
Holding the new-won crown above His saintly head.
Ay, I saw her, we have met,—
Married eyes how sweet they be,—
Are you happier, Margaret,
Than you might have been with me?
Silence! make no more ado!
Did she think I should forget?
Matters nothing, though I knew,
Once those eyes, full sweet, full shy,
Told a certain thing to mine;
What they told me I put by,
O, so careless of the sign.
Such an easy thing to take,
And I did not want it then;
Fool! I wish my heart would break,
Scorn is hard on hearts of men.
Scorn of self is bitter work,—
Each of us has felt it now:
Bluest skies she counted mirk,
Self-betrayed of eyes and brow;
As for me, I went my way,
And a better man drew nigh,
Fain to earn, with long essay,
What the winner’s hand threw by.
Matters not in deserts old,
What was born, and waxed, and yearned,
Year to year its meaning told,
I am come,—its deeps are learned,—
Come, but there is naught to say,—
Married eyes with mine have met.
Silence! O, I had my day,
“Old man, upon the green hillside,
With yellow flowers besprinkled o’er,
How long in silence wilt thou bide
At this low stone door?
“I stoop: within ’tis dark and still;
But shadowy paths methinks there be,
And lead they far into the hill?”
“Traveller, come and see.”
“’Tis dark, ’tis cold, and hung
I care not now within to stay;
For thee and me is scarcely room,
I will hence away.”
“Not so, not so, thou youthful guest,
Thy foot shall issue forth no more:
Behold the chamber of thy rest,
And the closing door!”