Ronald, your mother, so gentle, so pure, and you are
’T is she whom I think of, her quiet sweetness, her gracious way.
‘How could she bear it?’—’Laura!’ ‘Yes, Ronald.’ ’Let that matter rest.
You might give your name to my father’s child?’ ’My father’s name. Ay,
Who died before it was soiled.’ ‘You
mutter.’ ‘Why, love, are you here?’
’Because my mother fled forth to the West, her trouble to hide,
And I was so small, the lone pine forest, and tier upon tier,
Far off Mexican snowy sierras pushed England aside.’
‘And why am I here?’ ‘But what did
you mutter?’ ’O pardon, sweet.
Why came I here and—my mother?’ In truth then I cannot tell.’
‘Yet you drew my ring from your finger—see—I kneel at your feet.’
’Put it on. ‘T was for no fault of mine.’ ‘Love! I knew that full well.’
’And yet there be faults that long repented,
are aye to deplore,
Wear my ring, Laura, at least till I choose some words I can say,
If indeed any word need be said.’ ’No! wait, Ronald, no more;
What! is there respite? Give me a moment to think “nay” or “ay.”
I know not, but feel there is. O pardon me, pardon
For nought is to say, and the dawn of hope is a solemn thing,
Let us have silence. Take me back, Ronald, full sweet is release.’
‘Laura! but give me my troth kiss again.’ ‘And give me my ring.’
The white moon wasteth, And cold morn hasteth Athwart the snow, The red east burneth And the tide turneth, And thou must go.
Think not, sad rover,
Their story all over
Who come from far—
Once, in the ages
Won goodly wages
Led by a star.
Once, for all duly
Guidance doth truly
Shine as of old,
Opens for me and thee
Her gates of gold.
Enter, thy star is out,
Traverse nor faint nor doubt
Earth’s antres wild,
Thou shalt find good and rest
As found the Magi blest
That divine Child.
I clomb full high the belfry tower
Up to yon arrow-slit, up and away,
I said ’let me look on my heart’s fair flower
In the walled garden where she doth play.’
My care she knoweth not, no nor the cause,
White rose, red rose about her hung,
And I aloft with the doves and the daws.
They coo and call to their callow young.
Sing, ’O an she were a white rosebud fair
Dropt, and in danger from passing feet,
’T is I would render her service tender,
Upraised on my bosom with reverence meet.’