A PAIR of lovers in the street!
I dare not mock: with reverence meet
My unforgetting heart I cheat.
Last night beneath the mockery of the moon
I heard the sudden startled whisperings
Of wakened birds settling their restless wings;
The North-east brought his word of gladness, "Soon!"
In her grey majesty of ancient stone
She queens it proudly, though the sun's caress
Her piteous cheeks, ravished of bloom, confess,
And her dark eyes his bridegroom glance have know.
I thought, because we had been friends so long,
That I knew all your dear lips dared intend
Before they dawned to speech. Our thoughts would blend,
I dreamed, like memories that faintly throng.
All things must fade. There is for cities tall
The same tomorrow as for daffodils:
Time's wind, that casts the seed, the petal spills.
Grim London's ruined arches yet shall fall
One moment mankind rides the crested wave,
A moment glorious, beyond recall;
And then the wave, with slow and massive fall,
Obliterates the beauty that it gave.
She lies, a grave disdain all her defence,
Too imperturbable for scorn. She hears
Only the murmur of the flowing years
That thunder slowly on her shores immense
The steady soaking of the rain,
The bush all sad and sombre;
The trees are weeping in their pain,
Dank leaves the ground encumber.
About me leagues of houses lie,
Above me, grim and straight and high,
They climb; the terraces lean up
Like long grey reefs against the sky.
LAST night I saw the Pleiades again,
Faint as a drift of steam
From some tall chimney-stack;
And I remembered you as you were then: