Late Lyrics and Earlier : with Many Other Verses eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 pages of information about Late Lyrics and Earlier .

As ’twere to-night, in the brief space
   Of a far eventime,
   My spirit rang achime
At vision of a girl of grace;
As ’twere to-night, in the brief space
   Of a far eventime.

As ’twere at noontide of to-morrow
   I airily walked and talked,
   And wondered as I walked
What it could mean, this soar from sorrow;
As ’twere at noontide of to-morrow
   I airily walked and talked.

As ’twere at waning of this week
   Broke a new life on me;
   Trancings of bliss to be
In some dim dear land soon to seek;
As ’twere at waning of this week
   Broke a new life on me!

THE CONTRETEMPS

   A forward rush by the lamp in the gloom,
      And we clasped, and almost kissed;
   But she was not the woman whom
   I had promised to meet in the thawing brume
On that harbour-bridge; nor was I he of her tryst.

   So loosening from me swift she said: 
      “O why, why feign to be
   The one I had meant!—­to whom I have sped
   To fly with, being so sorrily wed!”
- ’Twas thus and thus that she upbraided me.

   My assignation had struck upon
      Some others’ like it, I found. 
   And her lover rose on the night anon;
   And then her husband entered on
The lamplit, snowflaked, sloppiness around.

   “Take her and welcome, man!” he cried: 
      “I wash my hands of her. 
   I’ll find me twice as good a bride!”
  —­All this to me, whom he had eyed,
Plainly, as his wife’s planned deliverer.

   And next the lover:  “Little I knew,
      Madam, you had a third! 
   Kissing here in my very view!”
  —­Husband and lover then withdrew. 
I let them; and I told them not they erred.

   Why not?  Well, there faced she and I—­
      Two strangers who’d kissed, or near,
   Chancewise.  To see stand weeping by
   A woman once embraced, will try
The tension of a man the most austere.

   So it began; and I was young,
      She pretty, by the lamp,
   As flakes came waltzing down among
   The waves of her clinging hair, that hung
Heavily on her temples, dark and damp.

   And there alone still stood we two;
      She one cast off for me,
   Or so it seemed:  while night ondrew,
   Forcing a parley what should do
We twain hearts caught in one catastrophe.

   In stranded souls a common strait
      Wakes latencies unknown,
   Whose impulse may precipitate
   A life-long leap.  The hour was late,
And there was the Jersey boat with its funnel agroan.

   “Is wary walking worth much pother?”
      It grunted, as still it stayed. 
   “One pairing is as good as another
   Where all is venture!  Take each other,
And scrap the oaths that you have aforetime made.” . . .

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Late Lyrics and Earlier : with Many Other Verses from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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