Do You Remember? "Un Bacio Dato Non È Mai Perduto"

BECAUSE we once drove together
In the moonlight over the snow,
With the sharp bells ringing their tinkling chime,
So many a year ago,
So, now, as I hear them jingle,
The winter comes back again,
Though the summer stirs in the heavy trees,
And the wild rose scents the lane.
We gather our furs around us,
Our faces the keen air stings,
And noiseless we fly o’er the snow-hushed world
Almost as if we had wings.
Enough is the joy of mere living,
Enough is the blood’s quick thrill;
We are simply happy, — I care not why, —
We are happy beyond our will.
The trees are with icicles jeweled,
The walls are o’er-surfed with snow;
The houses with marble whiteness are roofed,
In their windows the home-lights glow.
Through the tense, clear sky above us
The keen stars flash and gleam.
And wrapped in their silent shroud of snow
The broad fields lie and dream.
And jingling with low, sweet clashing
Ring the bells as our good horse goes,
And tossing his head, from his nostrils red
His frosty breath he blows.
And closely you nestle against me,
While around your waist my arm
I have slipped—’t is so bitter, bitter cold —
It is only to keep us warm.
We talk, and then we are silent;
And suddenly — you know why —
I stooped — could I help it? You lifted your face —
We kissed — there was nobody nigh.
And no one was ever the wiser,
And no one was ever the worse;
The skies did not fall, — as perhaps they ought, —
And we heard no paternal curse.
I never told it — did you, dear ? —
From that day unto this;
But my memory keeps in its inmost recess,
Like a perfume, that innocent kiss.
I dare say you have forgotten,
’T was so many a year ago;
Or you may not choose to remember it,
Time may have changed you so.
The world so chills us and kills us,
Perhaps you may scorn to recall
That night, with its innocent impulse, —
Perhaps you ’ll deny it all.
But if of that fresh, sweet nature
The veriest vestige survive,
You remember that moment’s madness, —
You remember that moonlight drive.
W. W. Story.