I Have Been Here Before on the Same Errand

I HAVE been here before on the same errand,
But not with you; you were not thought of then;
That time, which seems as if it had not been,
I came with him who is not thought of now.
The place is much as it appeared to us,
The houses and the streets the same; even
The faces on the streets are still unchanged.
And now upon it all I see your face
Is terribly like his, and in your eyes
The same expression, half diffidence,
Half joy. And every line and trait of you
That marks your brotherhood with him stands out
Until I almost think that you are he,
And turn and speak to you as if you were.
He is not here, not there, but nowhere,
And in this place, where you will pass each day,
Stands stone and bronze to show he is not here.
I know you better than I ever knew
Him or his thoughts; nor do I love you less;
But something of the beauty of the dead,
The voice, the face, that will not come again,
Youth going young into the dark unknown,
And all the love I had for him, which now
Goes begging ignorantly to the air,
Draws back my heart to that time long ago
When I was here before on this same errand.
JOSEPHINE YOUNG CASE