IN the quiet of the evening
Two are walking in unrest;
Man has touched a jealous nature,—
Anger burns in woman’s breast.
(These are neither wed nor plighted,
Yet the maybe hangs as near
And as fragrant as the wild-rose
Which their garments hardly clear.
And as briery, too, you fancy ?
Well, perhaps so — some sad morn
One or both may, for a moment,
Wish they never had been born.)
Happy quips and honest pleadings
Meet with silence or a sneer;
But more keenly has she listened
Since she vowed she would not hear.
Now a great oak parts the pathway.
“Nature’ll gratify your mood:
To the right,—let this divide you;
It will all be understood.”
So Caprice, with childish weakness,
Yet with subtlety of thought,
Whispered in the ear of woman.
Love, with dread, the answer sought.
Was it superstitious feeling
Struck at once the hearts of two ?
Had he seen proud eyes half sorry
For what little feet must do ?
For he stretched an arm towards her,
Folding nothing but the air,
Saying nothing,—just the motion
Drew, without offending there.
In the quiet of the evening
Two are walking back again ;
At the oak, their happy voices
Whisper of a vanished pain.
What if they to-night be plighted,
And the maybe hangs more near
And more fragrant than the wild-rose
Which their garments hardly clear !
And more briery, too, you fancy?
Well, perhaps so. Thorns are ill,
But Love draws them out so kindly,
One must trust him, come what will.