A poem by Nora Pembroke

I sit by the fire in the gloaming,
In the depths of my easy chair,
And I ponder, as old men ponder,
Over times and things that were.

And outside is the gusty rushing,
Of the fierce November blast,
With the snow drift waltzing and whirling,
And eddying swiftly past,

It's a wild night to be abroad in,
When the ice blast and snow drift meet
To wreath round all the world of winter
A shroud and a winding sheet.

There's a dash of hail at the window,
Thick with driving snow is the air;
But I sit here in ease and comfort
In the depths of my easy chair.

I have fought my way in life's battle,
And won Fortune's fickle caress;
Won from fame just a passing notice,
And enjoy what is called success.

As I sit here in ease and comfort,
And the shadows they rise and fall,
And the dear old familiar faces
Look out from the pannelled wall.

Ah! reminders of living fondness
Gleam out in their pictured looks;
And in ranks round from floor to ceiling,
Are my life-long friends, my books.

The bright wood fire crackles and sparkles,
Leaping up with a sudden glow,
Playing hide and seek with the shadows
That flit round me to and fro.

They come and look over my shoulder,
And they vanish behind my chair;
Ah! the notice that life's November
Has sprinkled with snow my hair.

Ah! the shadows that gather round me,
That will never more depart,
That are flitting around my chamber,
That are closing around my heart!

All the shadows of undone actions,
And the shadow of deep regret,
Over many occasions wasted,
And of duties, alas! unmet.

Over words that are left unspoken,
And of woe that was left unshared,
Over high resolutions broken,
And calls that would not be heard.

And the shade of a deeper sorrow
Still hovers about my chair;
It is this, and not life's November,
Has sprinkled with snow my hair.

For my life has passed into evening,
And I sit, mid the shadows here,
Hearing still the shadowy whisper
That success may be bought too dear.

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