A Reverie and a Song.


When I do sit apart1
And commune with my heart,2
She brings me forth the treasures once my own ;3
Shows me a happy place4
Where leaf-buds swelled apace,5
And wasting rims of snow in sunlight shone.6
Rock, in a mossy glade,7
The larch trees lend thee shade,8
That just begin to feather with their leaves ;9
From out thy crevice deep10
White tufts of snowdrops peep,11
And melted rime drips softly from thine eaves.12
Ah, rock, I know, I know13
That yet thy snowdrops grow,14
And yet doth sunshine fleck them through the tree,15
Whose sheltering branches hide16
The cottage at its side,17
That never more will shade or shelter me.18
I know the stockdoves’ note19
Athwart the glen doth float :20
With sweet foreknowledge of her twins oppress’d,21
And longings onward sent,22
She broods before the event,23
While leisurely she mends her shallow nest.24
Once to that cottage door,25
In happy days of yore,26
My little love made footprints in the snow.27
She was so glad of spring,28
She helped the birds to sing,29
I know she dwells there yet—the rest I do not know.30
They sang, and would not stop,31
While drop, and drop, and drop,32
I heard the melted rime in sunshine fall ;33
And narrow wandering rills,34
Where leaned the daffodils,35
Murmured and murmured on, and that was all.36
I think, but cannot tell,37
I think she loved me well,38
And some dear fancy with my future twined.39
But I shall never know,40
Hope faints, and lets it go,41
That passionate want forbid to speak its mind.42


She was but a child, a child,43
And I a man grown ;44
Sweet she was, and fresh, and wild,45
And, I thought, my own.46
What could I do ?  The long grass groweth,47
The long wave floweth with a murmur on :48
The why and the wherefore of it all who knoweth ?49
Ere I thought to lose her she was grown—and gone.50
This day or that day in warm spring weather,51
The lamb that was tame will yearn to break its tether.52
But if the world wound thee,” I said, “ come back to me,53
Down in the dell wishing—wishing, wishing for thee.”54
The dews hang on the white may,55
Like a ghost it stands,56
All in the dusk before day57
That folds the dim lands :58
Dark fell the skies when once belated,59
Sad, and sorrow-fated, I missed the sun ;60
But wake, heart, and sing, for not in vain I waited.61
O clear, O solemn dawning, lo, the maid is won !62
Sweet dews, dry early on the grass and clover,63
Lest the bride wet her feet while she walks over ;64
Shine to-day, sunbeams, and make all fair to see :65
Down the dell she’s coming—coming, coming with me.66
A woman stands in a wooded area underneath a tree. She stretches her arms upwards towards the tree branches. 3/4-page illustration contained within a single-ruled border.