And oh! the years that pass’d over
When I was leisurely growing or grown;
And oh! the minutes that suddenly led
To the sweetest thought that ever was known.
Only one glad little glance that I gave,
Where by the window the passion-flower grew,
And a strong man was turn’d into a slave,
Watching and waiting for all that I do.
And a strong man’s heart beat only
Only for me while it answers life’s call;
Till I was compell’d to hear and to see;
And only one little look did it all!
Oh, such an infinitesimal thing!
One unthought-of minute hurrying by,
And the whole of two lives yet in their spring
Are utterly chang’d for ever and aye!
If with idle heart and with careless eyes
I had not happened just there and just then
To smile at a flower beneath the skies,
Should I never have lov’d the first of men?
Had he seen me first in a festal hour,
Or riding, or driving, or by the sea,
And not with a smile for the passion-flower,
Would he never, never have cared for me?
Who planted the root, and its climbing
Who water’d below or cherish’d above?
Is it the work of a gardener’s hand
That causes my Harry and me to love?
Had that gardener never been born or hir’d,
Or done this one insignificant thing;
Had the passion-flower died;—my heart is tir’d
With the troublesome sudden thoughts that spring;
And mine eyes are filling with foolish tears,
And the pang that I feel is sharp and keen,
As I see the empty unhappy years,
And I think of all that might not have been.
* * * * *
Treason to love, that such thoughts should arise!
In Heaven I know our marriage was made;
Heaven is somewhere beyond those blue skies,
Why am I weeping and feeling afraid?
Happy the angels, who tenderly plan
These beautiful compacts to glorify man!
Happy the man and the woman who take
Humbly their crown for the dear angels’ sake!
Love in our hearts giving strength to
Eternal itself, makes eternity sure;
Earth growing perfect, unspeakably dear,
Only makes heaven seem yet more near.
Why do I tremble in fanciful doubt?
All things—or nothing—had brought it about;
Whatever might happen, I must be his;
What signifies talking, since so it is?
So there came the last of the careless
Did time in the very same manner move?
(My heart almost stops in a mute amaze
To think that it ever was not in love.)
Up in the morning, as gay as a lark,
With a glad good-bye to the pleasant night;
Without an idea I am in the dark,
Or that just beyond is the real light;