THROUGHOUT the lonely house the whole day long
The wind-harp’s fitful music sinks and swells ;
A cry of pain sometimes, or sad and strong,
Or faint, like broken peals of silver bells.
Across the little garden comes the breeze,
Bows all its cups of flame, and brings to me
Its breath of mignonette and bright sweet peas,
With drowsy murmurs from the encircling sea.
In at the open door a crimson drift
Of fluttering, fading woodbine leaves is blown;
And through the clambering vine the sunbeams sift,
And trembling shadows on the floor are thrown.
I climb the stair and from the window lean,
Seeking thy sail, O love, that still delays,
Longing to catch its glimmer, searching keen
The jealous distance veiled in tender haze.
What care I if the pansies purple be,
Or sweet the wind-harp wails through the slow hours ?
Or that the lulling music of the sea
Comes woven with the perfume of the flowers ?
Thou comest not! I ponder o’er the leaves,
The crimson drift behind the open door ;
Soon shall we listen to a wind that grieves,
Mourning this glad year, dead forevermore.
And, O my love, shall we on some sad day
Find joys and hopes low fallen like the leaves,
Blown by life’s chilly autumn wind away
In withered heaps God’s eye alone perceives ?
Come thou, and save me from my dreary thought!
Who dares to question Time, what it may bring ?
Yet round us lies the radiant summer, fraught
With beauty ; must we dream of suffering ?
Yea, even so. Through this enchanted land,
This morning-red of life, we go to meet
The tempest in the desert, hand in hand,
Along God’s paths of pain that seek his feet.
But this one golden moment,—hold it fast!
The light grows long; low in the west the sun,
Clear-red and glorious, slowly sinks at last,
And while I muse the tranquil day is done.
The land-breeze freshens in thy gleaming sail !
Across the singing waves the shadows creep,
Under the new moon’s thread of silver pale,
With the first star, thou comest o’er the deep !