What the stupid sense of the grown-up
Urges, she cannot perceive; but prefers
The simple faith of her own sweet plan,
And the brothers in Heaven still are hers.
The very last day that Harry was here
I read him those verses, and Harry smil’d;
And we held some converse, divinely dear,
Which was all about that dear little child.
Is it for this that I think of it now?
Is it for this he let seven words fall?
O pulses are beating behind my brow,
And I think my heart is not beating at all!
And my brain, it keeps whirling round and round,
Like a sing-song wheel through a ship at night;
And the seven words that constantly sound
Are ‘you shall follow me, sweet,’ and ‘I’ll write.’
I wonder if I have been going mad,
In the strange wild world I am living in?
I think that I have—I hop’d that I had—
For I weary with wondering, what is sin?
There’s blood on your hand—there’s
blood on your soul—
O lily-white hand—soul noble and true!
You murder’d him where the blue waters roll,
And he set the seal of his death on you.
I have sat so happily by your side,
I have lain so tranquilly on your breast;
But I think that you died, and I think that I died—
And death is the end of all, and the best.
It was God who created men and time;
And a better than you He could not need;
So if you did it, it was not a crime,
And if ’twas a crime, you did not the deed.
I am fighting with life, with death I
Ready for neither; both crush with their might;
Only those seven words keep me alive—
You said ‘you shall follow me,’ and ‘I’ll write.’
They stealthily talk; I hear what they
Sharply she hears who each syllable dreads—
Glancing at me in significant way,
Touching their foreheads and shaking their heads.
Thoughts turn’d astray by grief’s terrible force;
Not even by love is murder excus’d;
She cannot believe that he did it, of course.
She thinks him a hero, and so loves on;
Reason enthron’d would annihilate this;
Love would have nothing to nestle upon,
Did she perceive him the sinner he is.’
* * * * *
Words striking my brain like sunshine on ice,
Bursting the bulwarks that kept the flood in;
Is love only madness? Will reason suffice
To crucify love at the presence of sin?
Reason comes back with all honours she had,
Calmly accepting my life as it is;
I will not go mad—I dare not go mad—
I must prove love is not treason like this!
Is he not all that I thought him?
O treacherous heart—then you were to blame:
I married my Harry for good or ill,
And through good and ill I love him the same.