* * * * *
So it has come to me, my hope, my wonder!
Now I perceive that I was one of those
Who, till love comes, have breath and beating blood
In one continual question. All the beauty
My happy senses took till now has been
Drugg’d with a fiery want and discontent,
That settled in my soul and lay there burning.
The hills, wearing their green ample dresses
Right in the sky’s blue courts, with swerving folds
Along the rigour of their stony sinews—
(Often they garr’d my breath catch and stumble),—
The moon that through white ghost of water went,
Till she was ring’d about with an amber window,—
The summer stars seen winking through dusk leaves;
All the earth’s manners and most loveliness,
All made my asking spirit stir within me,
And throb with a question, whose answer is,
(As now I know, but then I did not know)
There is a Man somewhere meant for me.—
And I have seen the face of him for whom
My soul was made!
Ah, somewhere? Where is that?
Have I not dreamt that he is gone away,
Gone ere he loved me? Now I lose myself.
I only have seen my boy’s murder’d head.
* * * * *
Yes, again light breaks through and quells my thought.
The whole earth seemed as it belonged to me,
A message spoken out in green and blue
Specially to my heart; and it would say
That some time, out of the human multitude
A face would look into my soul, and sign
All my nature, easily as it were wax,
With its dear image; but after that impress
I would all harden, so that nought could raze
The minting of that seal from off my being.
And yesterday it fell. An idle whim
To see the rebels on the Scottish Gate,—
And there was the face of him I was made to love,
There,—ah God,—on the gate, my murder’d lad!
Did any girl have first-sight love like this?
Not to have ever seen him, only seen
Such piteous token that he has been born,
Lived and grown up to beauty, the man who was meant
To sleep upon my breast, and dead before
The sweet custom of love could be between us!
To have but seen his face?—Is that enough
To make me clear he is my man indeed?
Why, sure there are tales bordering on my lot
In misery?—Of hearts who have been stabbed
By knowledge that their mates were in the earth,
Yet never could come near enough to be healed;
Of those who have gone longing all a life,
Because a voice heard singing or a gesture
Seen from afar gospell’d them of love;
And no more than the mere announcement had.
Ah, but all these to mine were kindly dealing;
For not till they’d trepann’d him out of life
Did he, poor laggard, come to claim my soul.—
O my love, but your ears played you falsely
When they were taken by Death’s wily tunes!
* * * * *