Ada Cambridge (21 November 1844 – 19 July 1926 / St Gemans, Norfolk)
Love, thou hast wandered far and wide,
But here thy wanderings cease;
Thy long- sought mate is by thy side,
And thou canst sleep in peace.
Night moans outside our window- pane,
And weeps from dripping eaves;
The air is thick with falling rain
Upon dead autumn leaves.
The winds of winter rave and chafe
Around thy tranquil nest,
But I am here, and thou art safe —
Thy very soul may rest.
The wild surf- thunder swells and falls
Upon the seething beach —
Thy world within thy chamber- walls
Nor winds nor waves can reach.
Sleep, fired eyes! Sleep well, dear heart,
That ached so long for me!
No sudden hand shall tear apart
These arms that shelter thee
Sleep well, though late- found joys be brief,
And bought with tears and pain;
Shut out the memory of thy grief —
Thou didst not grieve in vain.
Think of our treasure, kept in store,
And not the price it cost —
Those precious years, that come no more,
Which thou and I have lost.
O, wasted years, that lie behind
Hush — what is past is past.
Enough that we have lived to find
What life is worth at last.
Though Fate has robbed us of so much,
We know not what we miss;
All ills are recompensed in such
A priceless good as this.
Sleep,dear! The hours are passing on —
The midnight bells have tolled;
Think not how much of life is gone,
But how much more we hold.
Yes, more — as wise men reckon life —
Though no wise man can tell
How soon, for husband and for wife,
The stroke of doom will knell.
No echo of that solemn chime
Break through thy perfect peace!
No forecast of that awful time
When time for us will cease:
When happier worlds shall shine in space,
For other eyes to see,
And none have any more a place
For thy true love and thee.
Be blind to all, and deaf, and dumb,
In thy quick heart's despite!
Content thee — though the end must come,
It will not come to- night.
This night let never thought of ill
Disturb thy slumber deep;
To- morrow I shall have thee still,
So thou canst safely sleep:
Reprieved from that appalling fear,
As from thy long regret —
Be our last parting far or near,
We have not reached it yet.
Thy head lies pillowed on my breast —
My cheek upon thy brow —
Dear love, good night! Thou art at rest
From Past and Future now.
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