A Silent Guest: To H. E. C

WE sit and chat in the familiar place, —
We two, where in those other years were three, —
Till, suddenly, you turn your eyes from me,
And in the empty air I see a face,
Serenely smiling with the old-time grace,
And we are three again. All silently
The third guest entered; and as silent we,
Held mute by very awe for some brief space.
And then we question, Has he come to stay ?
Was heaven lonely to the child of earth ?
Was there no nectar in immortal bliss
To warm lips thirsting for a mortal kiss ?
Has the new lesson taught the old love’s worth ?
The still ghost hears, and smiles, and — goes his way.

LONDON, June, 1887.

Louise Chandler Moulton.