The World Well Lost

THAT year ? Yes, doubtless I remember still, —
Though why take count of every wind that blows!
’T was plain, men said, that Fortune used me ill
That year, — the self-same year I met with Rose.
Crops failed ; wealth took a flight; house, treasure, land,
Slipped from my hold—thus Plenty comes and goes.
One friend I had, but he too loosed his hand
(Or was it I ?) the year I met with Rose.
There was a war, methinks; some rumor, too,
Of famine, pestilence, fire, deluge, snows;
Things went awry. My rivals, straight in view,
Throve, spite of all; but I, — I met with Rose !
That year my white-faced Alma pined and died :
Some trouble vexed her quiet heart, — who knows ?
Not I, who scarcely missed her from my side,
Or aught else gone, the year I met with Rose.
Was there no more ? Yes, that year life began :
All life before a dream, false joys, light woes, —
All after-life compressed within the span
Of that one year, — the year I met with Rose!
Edmund C. Stedman.