Au Revoir - Poem by Charles Sangster
That morn our hearts were like artesian wells,
Both deep and calm, and brimming with pure love.
And in each one, like to an April day,
Truth smiled and wept, while Courage wound his horn,
Dispatching echoes that are whispering still
Through all the vacant chambers of our souls;
While Sorrow sat with drooped and aimless wing,
Within the solitary fane of thought.
We wished some warlike Joshua were there
To make the sun stand still, or to put back
The dial to the brighter side of time.
A cloud hung over Couchiching; a cloud
Eclipsed the merry sunshine of our hearts.
We needed no philosopher to teach
That laughter is not always born of joy.
'All's for the best,' the fair Eliza said;
And we derived new courage from her lips,
That spake the maxim of her trusting heart.
We even smiled, at some portentous sign
That signified-well, if it turn out true,
Then, I'll believe it. Heaven works in signs
More parting words, more lingering farewells,
Pressure of hands, and thrilling touch of lips,
A waving of white handkerchiefs, and Love
Grew prayerful, and knelt down, and wept
His scattered rosary of human hearts.
Soon looking back, we saw where Ramah lay;
Cold, wan, and cheerless as the race it holds.
And as we neared the Lake the sun came forth,
As tardily as if the sluggard day
Had slept more soundly for the piping storm,
That, veering round, had flung its challenge out
In sullen menace to the western sky,
Now black with clouds. A flash, a muffled roll
Of elemental passion, broke the spell,
And down on Simcoe fell the sudden rain,
Veiling the gloomy landscape from our sight.
Throughout the changeful day, alternate cloud
And sunshine left their traces on our hearts,
Until the evening reared its dreamy piles
Of cloud-built chateaux steeped in gorgeous tints,
That from celestial censers are outpoured
When the grand miracle of sunset draws
Our souls, all yearning with a joy divine,
To share the fleeting glory, ere it goes
To glean new splendors for the ruby morn.
'Tis ever thus with true impassioned love;
Love's sun, like that of day, may set, and set,
It hath as bright a rising in the morn.
True love has no gray hairs; his golden looks
Can never whiten with the snows of time.
Sorrow lies drear on many a youthful heart,
Like snow upon the evergreens; but love
Can gather sweetest honey by the way,
E'en from the carcass of some prostrate grief.
We have been spoiled with blessings. Though the world
Holds nothing dearer than the hope that's fled,
God ever opens up new founts of bliss-
Spiritual Bethsaidas where the soul
Can wash the earth-stains from its fevered loins.
We carve our sorrows on the face of joy,
Reversing the true image; we are weak
Where strength is needed most, and most is given.
Thus musing, as they chatted in the train,
The whistle broke my reverie, as one
Might be awakened from a truthful dream.
The city gas-lights flashed into our eyes;
And we, half-shrinking from the glare and din,
Thought but of two more partings on the morn,
When Love should be enfettered, hand and foot,
For the long aeon of a human year.
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