The Master played the bishop’s pawn,
For jest, while Atherton looked on;
The master played this way and that,
And Atherton, amazed thereat,
Ten years together without yet a cloud
They seek each other's eyes at intervals
Of gratefulness to firelight and four walls
For love's obliteration of the crowd.
The Deacon thought. “I know them,” he began,
“And they are all you ever heard of them—
Allurable to no sure theorem,
The scorn or the humility of man.
The miller's wife had waited long,
The tea was cold, the fire was dead;
And there might yet be nothing wrong
In how he went and what he said:
No more with overflowing light
Shall fill the eyes that now are faded,
Nor shall another's fringe with night
Their woman-hidden world as they did.
If ever I am old, and all alone,
I shall have killed one grief, at any rate;
For then, thank God, I shall not have to wait
Much longer for the sheaves that I have sown.
Between me and the sunset, like a dome
Against the glory of a world on fire,
Now burned a sudden hill,
Bleak, round, and high, by flame-lit height made higher,
At first I thought there was a superfine
Persuasion in his face; but the free flow
That filled it when he stopped and cried, "Hollo!"
Shone joyously, and so I let it shine.
"You thought we knew," she said, "but we were wrong.
This we can say, the rest we do not say;