Two Sonnets


WHEN I am gone — and I shall go before you —
Think of me not as your disconsolate lover;
Think of the joy it gave me to adore you,
Of sun and stars you helped me to discover.
And if at night in dreams my spirit hovers
And shadows of the memoried past enfold you,
A merry ghost will sit upon the covers
And tell again some flippant tale I told you;
Will sing again some long-forgotten song,
Some artless, tender rhyme I wrote about you,
When moments spent with you made sweet the long,
Slow, desolate days and nights I lived without you.
Then all on earth that Death has left behind
Will be the merry part of me within your mind.


My face, before the turn of many years,
Will be as brown and wrinkled as old leather,
With ruts of passion, furrows worn by tears,
And seams of ribald laughter close together.
The voice with which I sang to you of love

Will croak and squeak, and children laugh to hear it;
And these straight limbs, that once I boasted of,
Trembling will seek the fire and chain me near it.
My eyes that, from the foremasthead, at dawn,
Have swept the burnished seas and fading stars,
Gaze inward now at things forever gone
That once were aching wounds — now shrunken scars.
But in the withered spirit, none the less,
A melody will sing your loveliness.

R. S.