Too far away, O love, I know,
To save me from this haunted road
Whose lofty roses break and blow
On a night-sky bent with a load
Of lights; each solitary rose,
Each arc-lamp golden does expose
Ghost beyond ghost of a blossom, shows
Night blenched with a thousand snows.
Of hawthorn and of lilac trees,
White lilac; shows discoloured night
Dripping with all the golden lees
Laburnum gives back to light.
And shows the red of hawthorn set
On high to the fuming sky of night,
Like flags in pale blood newly wet,
Blood shed in the silent fight.
Of life with love and love with life,
Of battling for a little food,
Of kisses, long seeking for a wife
Long ago, long ago wooed.
Too far away you are, my love,
To steady my brain in this phantom show
That passes the nightly road above
And returns again below.
. . . . . .
The enormous cliff of horse-chestnut trees
Has poised on each of its ledges
An erect small girl looking down at me;
White-nightgowned little chits I see
And they peep at me over the edges
Of the leaves as though they would leap, should I call
Them down to my arms:
— But, child, you’re too small for me; too small
Your little charms! —
White little sheaves of nightgowned maids
Some other will thresh you out! —
But I see leaning from the shades
A lilac there, like a lady who braids
Her white mantilla about
Her face, and forward leans to catch the sight
Of a lover’s face;
Gracefully sighing through the white
Flowery mantilla of lace.
And another lilac in purple veiled
Discreetly, yet recklessly calls
In a low, shocking perfume, to know who has hailed
Her forth from the dark: my strength has failed
In her voice, and a weak tear falls —
Oh, and see the laburnum shimmering
Her draperies down
As if she would slip the gold, and glimmering
White stand naked of gown.
. . . . . .
The pageant of flowery trees above
The street pale-passionate goes.
And down below on the pavement, love
In a meaner pageant flows.
Two and two are the folk that walk,
They pass in a half embrace
Of linking elbows, and they talk
With dull face leaning to face.
But I am alone, and wavering home
Along this haunted road;
And never a blossoming woman will roam
To my arms with her welcome load.
And never a girl like a chestnut flower
Will tiptoe into my room.
I shall get no answer in any hour.
To live alone is my doom.