Alice Cary

(1820-1871 / USA)


Yesternight - how long it seems! -
Met I in the land of dreams,
One that loved me long ago -
Better it had not been so.

For, we met not as of old -
I was planting in the mould
Of his grave, some flowers to be,
When he came and talked with me.

White his forehead was, and fair,
With such crowns as angels wear,
And his voice - but I alone
Ever heard so sweet a tone!

All I prized but yesterday
In the distance lessening lay,
Like some golden cloud afar,
Fallen and faded from a star.

Hushed the chamber is, he said,
Hushed and dark where we must wed,
But our bridal home is bright -
Wilt thou go with me to-night?

Answering then, I sadly said,
I am living, thou art dead;
Darkness rests between us twain,
Who shall make the pathway plain?

Ah! thou lovest not, he cried,
Else to thee I had not died;
Else all other hope would be
As a rain-drop to the sea.

Farther, dimmer, earth withdrew,
Lower, softer bent the blue,
And like bubbles in the wine
Blent the whispers, I am thine.

Angels saw I to their bowers
Bearing home the sheaves of flowers,
And could hear their anthem swells,
Reaping in the asphodels.

O'er my head a wildbird flew,
Shaking in my face the dew;
Underneath a woodland tree,
I, my love, had dreamed of thee.

Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2014

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