And in old winters, through your branches bare,
The north wind drove the blue home-scented smoke
That on the glowing Christmas hearth awoke
Where the old logs, with eager flicker and flare,
Sang their low crackling song
Of peace and of good will.
The old song is still,
The old voices have died away,
The hearth has been cold so long,
And the bright faces dimmed and covered up with clay.
And summer after summer wakes to glow
The ordered pleasance with the clipped box-hedge,
The drooping lilac by the old moat’s edge,
The roses, that throw you kisses from below,
The orchard pink and white,
The sedge’s whispered words,
The nesting birds,
All these return to revel round your feet.
And in the untroubled night
The nightingale still sings, the jasmine still is sweet.
My beautiful beech, I carve upon you here
The master-letter which begins her name
Through whom, to me, the royal summer came,
And nightingale and rose, and all things dear.
And, in some far-off time,
I shall come here, weary and old,
When the hearth in my heart is cold
And the birds that nest there flown;
I will remember this summer in all its prime
And say, “There was a day—
Thank God, the Giver, an unforgotten day,
When I walked here, not alone,
—O God of pity and sorrow, not alone!”
Wake, do you wake in the dark in the strange
Window and door not set like the ones we knew,
Leaning your face through the dark for another face,
Stretching your arms to the arms that are far from you,
Even as I, through the depth of this darkness, do?
Sleep, do you sleep in the house in the lonely land?
In the lonely room do you hear no steps draw near?
Do you miss in the darkness the hand that implores your hand,
See through the darkness your last dream disappear,
And weep, as I weep, in the outer darkness here?
Dream, do you dream? Nay, never a dream will
Never a phantom is fond, or a vision kind.
Your dreams elude you and fly through the dark my way,
My dreams fly forth to you whom they may not find;
And we in the darkness weep, we weep and are left behind.
So silent is the world to-night
The lamp gives silence out like light,
The latticed windows open wide
Show silence, like the night, outside:
The nightingale’s faint song draws near
Like musical silence to mine ear.
The empty house calls not to me,
“Here, but for fate, were thou and she—”
Its gibe for once is checked. To-night
Silence is queen in grief’s despite,
And even the longing of my soul
Is silent ’neath this hour’s control.
O weary night, O weary day,
When heart’s delight is far away!
What is the day? A frame of blue
The vacant-glaring sun grins through.
What is the night? A sable veil
Through which the moon peers tired and pale.