The days move slowly, young hearts yearn to be
Together always, cannot brook to see
Their love-days pass, and void each sunny hour,
Yet may we smile, e’en when fate’s storm-clouds lower,
Waiting fulfilment of our hearts’ decree
When summer comes.
It might have been so different a year
To what has been; the summer’s guileless play
Not all a jest, comes back to me to-day
In added sweetness, and provokes a tear.
Strange pictures rise, pass on, and disappear.
Drawn from your tender words of yesterday
When, looking in my eyes in the old way
You told me of your life, how passing dear
It might have been.
Useless to dream, more useless to regret!
We might have lived and loved, nor lost the glow
Of Love’s first sweet intensity;—to let
These foolish fancies die I strive,—and yet
I still must count it happiness to know
It might have been.
Brother and friend I found thee in the hour
Of need and day of trouble, strong and true.—
In June’s fair mirth, and when the sunrise hue
Shewed bright where joy had built his thoughtless bower,
Thou wert a child to sport with, something lower
Than a friend’s need. I gave, methought, thy due,—
An elder sister’s gentleness, nor knew
That ere Spring dawned my soul would feel thy power.
Brother and Friend!
A man, with a man’s strength, and will, and
I know thee, my Alcides; thus a god
For some fair soul to reverence, and desire
To own and worship. I can place thee higher
To-day, in naming thee,—pain’s paths just trod—
Brother and Friend.
“Pourquoi,” she breathed, then drooped
(Pure snow-drifts to the sunset wed)
As all my weakness I confessed.
I shewed how I had done my best,
Though long ago I should have fled,
Knowing all hope, for me, was dead;
And now my heart would die, unfed.
She murmured low, (was it in jest?)
That winsome face, all rosy red,—
I turned towards me,—gone was dread!
She came as birdlings to their nest
At eventide; so was I blest
By that one precious, softly-said
For our Love’s sake I bid thee stay, Sweet, ere the hours flee away, Beneath the old acacia tree That waves its blossoms quiveringly, And think awhile of early May:
Of how the months have fled away,
And sunrise hour turned twilight gray,
While we have suffered smilingly
For our Love’s sake.