Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
A Summer In Tuscany - Poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
Do you remember, Lucy,
How, in the days gone by
We spent a summer together,
A summer in Tuscany,
In the chestnut woods by the river,
You and the rest and I?
Your house had the largest garden,
But ours was next to the bridge,
And we had a mulberry alley
Which sloped to the water's edge.
You were always talking and laughing
On your side of the hedge.
How many sisters and brothers,
Lucy, then did you own?
Harriet and Francis and Horace
And Phyllis, a flower half--blown.
I liked you more than the others,
For you had the longest gown.
What has become of the laughter,
What of the mulberry trees?
Is there no record in Heaven,
No echo of days like these?
Francis is married and happy
And Horace beyond the seas.
Phyllis was first to desert us,
She had no soul for the Earth
But lingered a guest impatient
Alike of our sorrow and mirth.
Death's step to her on the threshold
Seemed news of a glorious birth.
Harriet, whose eyes were the brightest
The fullest of innocent guile,
Has hidden her joy and our sorrow
Under a Carmelite veil.
They call her the ``mother abbess.''
She has hardly leisure to smile.
Do you remember the ponies
We used to ride on the hill,
Every knee of them broken,
Every back like a quill,
Milor and Jack and Jill?
High o'er the plains and the valleys,
Wherever our leader led,
We two, closest of allies,
Were with him still in his tread,
Sworn to be first on his footsteps,
To serve him alive or dead.
Dead--ah dead! Who could think it?
The laughter so strong on his lips
Had seemed an elixir of living.
Where now are his jibes and his quips,
The fair paradoxes he flung us,
The fire of him?--Lost in eclipse!
All are scattered and vanished,
Laughter and smiles and tears,
Gone with the dust on the sandals
Which cling to the feet of the years.
Time has no time to remember,
And Fortune no face for our fears.
Do you remember, Lucy,
The day which too soon had come,
The first sad day of the Autumn,
The last of our summer home,
The day of my journey to England
And yours to your convent at Rome?
We rose with the dawn that morning--
--The others were hardly awake--
And took our walk by the river.
Lucy, did your heart ache?
Or was it the chill of the sunrise
That made you shiver and shake?
Lucy, the dog rose you gave me
Still lies in its secret place.
Lucy, the tears, my fool's answer,
Have left on my cheeks a trace.
The kiss you gave me at parting
I yet can feel on my face.
These are the things I remember.
These are the things that I grieve,
The joys that are scattered and vanished,
The friends I am loath to leave.
I grudge them to death and silence
And age which is death's reprieve.
Vanished, forgotten and scattered,
All but you, Lucy, and I,
Who cling some moments together
Till Time shall have hurried us by:
A moment and yet a moment,
Till we too forget and die!
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