He suddenly called for his men to come;
So they made their appearance one by one,
And he said, ’The gen’leman’s not been ’ome,
And she ’asn’t a notion what he’s done.
And he won’t come now, you
may swear to that;
I rayther think he’ll look arter a ship:
I rayther suspect we’ve been rayther flat,
And the gen’leman’s given us the slip!’
With a regular march they trod the ground,
Suddenly left me alone in the hall;
In the dreadful silence that settled round,
Again I knew I was dreaming it all?
A voice that can banish my sleep I know;
I know a voice that could wake me if dead;
A loud cheery voice, but it might speak low,
And ‘May, little May,’ it whispering said.
I stand like a statue of silence.
I listen not with my ears, but my soul;
And I feel the sudden accustom’d blush,
As again the whisper reaches its goal.
I open the window. ’Mid blossom
Of clustering laurel and Daphne white,
I am showering kisses on Harry’s brow,
And dropping the first tears I’ve shed to-night.
His face is as white as the Daphne-bud;
He is hiding down on the hidden sward;
He is wan and haggard, and splashed with mud;
He is crouching frighten’d—my king and lord!
He whisper’d, and fill’d my
heart with dismay,—
Scared by the sounds that used once to rejoice!—
O Harry, my Harry, speak loudly, I pray,
And not in that shocking whispering voice.
He whisper’d, ’I’ve
got in a horrid scrape;
Fetch me some money, and bid me good-bye;
I must run away, and make my escape,’—
‘I shall run with you, my darling,’ said I.
‘You cannot,’ he murmur’d;—a
Shone out of his eyes; he return’d my kiss—
’I never intended—Great Father above,
You know that I never intended this.
Fetch me some money—the desk
and the key—
You know them—be quick! or dearly you’ll rue—
My life’s in your hands!—have mercy on me—
Fetch me some money—It’s all you can do.’
A horrible haste in manner and voice,
A desperate hungry imploring haste;
I rush’d up the stairs—I had not a choice,
And I snatch’d the notes from where they were plac’d
All that I had—to the window I rush’d—
With kisses and tears in his hands I laid;
He return’d the kisses, with lips that crush’d
Their vehement kisses on lips dismay’d.
He was almost gone; but I held him tight,
And cried in my anguish, ’You have forgot—
When shall I follow you, darling? to-night?’
He shook his head, and he answer’d me not!
He threw off my hands in a savage way;
He cried, ‘I adore you,’ in fondest tone;
’You shall follow me, sweet—I dare not stay—
I’ll write to you, darling;’ and he is gone!