Helen Hunt Jackson

(18 October 1830 – 12 August 1885 / Amherst, Massachusetts)

At Last


O the years I lost before I knew you,
Love!
O, the hills I climbed and came not to you,
Love!
Ah! who shall render unto us to make
Us glad
The things which for and of each other's sake
We might have had?

If you and I had sat and played together,
Love,
Two speechless babes in the summer weather,
Love,
By one sweet brook which, though it dried up long
Ago,
Still makes for me today a sweeter song
Than all I know-

If hand-in-hand through the mysterious gateway,
Love
Of womanhood, we had first looked and straightway,
Love,
Had whispered to each other softly, ere
It yet
Was dawn, what now in noonday heat and fear
We both forget-

If all of this had given its completeness,
Love,
To every hour, would it be added sweetness,
Love?
Or ill
With thee? One wish could I more sweetly tell,
More swift fulfill?

Ah, vainly thus I sit and dream and ponder,
Love,
Losing the precious present while I wonder,
Love,
About the days in which you grew and came
To be
So beautiful, and did not know the name
Or sight of me.

But all lost things are in the angel's keeping,
Love;
No past is dead for us, but only sleeping,
Love;
The years of heaven will all earth's little pain
Make good,
Together there we can begin again,
In babyhood.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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