Beside the doors of a keen-lighted hall
I paused, and quite by chance
I noticed Love
Smiling and tall;
And then I heard the whirling dance,
And saw the dismal skies above.
She called to me to know her yet again,
And know her pale sad friend,
Solemn with tears;
Her friend was Pain.
I moved away, but in the end
Returned, fearing the empty years.
And I, who thought to scoff, and had so planned,
I took Love’s fevered arm,
And felt Pain’s breath.
I took Love’s hand,
And kissed its shining palm,
And saw beyond the silent face of Death.