O weary day! O weary night!
How far away is heart’s delight!
Love hung the sun in his high place
To give me light to see her face,
And love spread out the veil of night
To hide us two from all men’s sight.
O kindly night, O pleasant day,
Your use is gone—why should ye stay?
My heart’s delight is far away,
O weary night, O weary day.
If I could make a pillow for your head,
Soft, pleasant, filled with every pretty thought;
If I could lay a carpet where you tread
Of all my life’s most radiant fancies wrought,
And spread my love as canopy above you,
Your sleep, your steps should know how much I love you.
But—as life goes, to the old sorry tune—
I stand apart, I see thorns wound your feet,
Your sleeping eyes resenting sun and moon,
Your head lie restless on a breast unmeet—
And say no word, and suffer without moan,
Lest you should guess how much you are alone.
The tree of knowledge.
I plucked the blossoms of delight
In many a wood and many a field,
I made a garland fair and bright
As any gardens yield.
But when I sought the living tree
To make new earth and Heaven new,
I found—alas for you and me—
Its roots were set in you.
Oh, dear my garden, where the fruit
Of lovely knowledge sweetly springs,
How jealously you guard the root
Of all enlightening things!
And you could leave me now—
After the first remembered whispered vow
Which sings for ever and ever in my ears—
The vow which God among His Angels hears—
After the long-drawn years,
The slow hard tears,
Could break new ground, and wake
A new strange garden to blossom for your sake,
And leave me here alone,
In the old garden that was once our own?
How should I learn to bear
Our garden’s pleasant ways and pleasant air,
Her flowers, her fruits, her lily, her rose and thorn,
When only in a picture these appear—
These, once alive, and always over-dear?
Ah—think again: the rose you used to wear
Must still be more than other roses be
The flower of flowers. Ah, pity, pity me!
For in my acres is no plot of ground
Whereon could any garden site be found,
I have but little skill
To water weed and till
And make the desert blossom like the rose;
Yet our old garden knows
If I have loved its ways and walks and kept
The garden watered, and the pleasance swept.
Yet—if you must—go now:
Go, with my blessing filling both your hands,
And, mid the desert sands
Which life drifts deep round every garden wall,
Make your new festival
Of bud and blossom—red rose and green leaf.
No blight born of my grief
Shall touch your garden, love; but my heart’s