Forward our glances immutably cast
(Pillars of salt will not garnish our way!)
Just for the present forgetting the past,
Planning the future in all that we say.
Where neither sorrow nor sin has beguil’d,
Deep in a forest, a home will be made;
Nature contrasting with hand undefil’d
Novel creations of sunlight and shade.
Softness and grandeur enchantingly blent,
Deep in a forest two lives pass away;
Wrapp’d in each other, supremely content,
Lighted by love’s irrefrangible ray.
So the ship flew on that contain’d
With ocean around and heaven above;
It seem’d there was nothing for us to do
But to love and live, and to live and love.
So the ship flew on to the sinless shore,
Where a younger world from the deep sea starts;
Where sorrow cannot bewilder us more,
Or fear lay her cold hand over our hearts.
It is just as lovely as what we plann’d,
With its exquisite air of bright repose;
And ’tis Harry himself must till the land,
And ’tis I must sweep and cook, I suppose!
Is it playing at life, this life of ours?
Has childhood come back with its pleasant plays?
Mid gigantic trees and delicious flow’rs
We are passing our happy nights and days.
But the little cloud—O the
So little at first it might almost please—
That covers us up like a dead man’s shroud,
Growing bigger and bigger by degrees.
Alas! is it only in some bright past
That love can be perfect and bliss secure?
O days of delight that flew by too fast,
Leaving the present too empty and poor!
I had sometimes fancied a pang like this,
From a passing tone, or a look in his face;
But the meeting was such unclouded bliss,
And the days that follow’d it full of grace.
In the sweet content of finding a home,
There was not leisure for joy to grow dim;
But the cloud was there, and ready to come,
And the cloud was the fear of change in him!
Harry is changed—he is graver,—I
Never I’ll see the old Harry again:
There’s a look in his face that makes my heart sink,
For it is a look of a hopeless pain.
Sometimes I hardly can keep down my cries—
I could wring my hands—I could tear my hair—
When an expression comes into his eyes,
Which is the expression of a despair.
He never alludes to the dreadful past;
But when his lips tremble and brow is knit,
I cannot bear it, and cry out at last,
‘O talk of it, Harry—O talk of it!’
His eyes are full of a helpless regret
(And I almost wish I was lying dead);
Will he not talk of it? not even yet?—
He speaks in a whisper, and shakes his head.
‘I cannot—I dare not.’
’You can—you dare—
You must do it, Harry—just for my sake;
For this burthen, which it is not to bear,
Is crushing my heart, and my heart will break.’