Broken Tryst

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

Waiting in the woodland, watching for my sweet,
Thinking every leaf that stirs the coming of her feet,
Thinking every whisper the rustle of her gown,
How my heart goes up and up, and then goes down and down.

First it is a squirrel, then it is a dove,
Then a red fox feather-soft and footed like a dream;
All the woodland fools me, promising my love;
I think I hear her talking - 'tis but the running stream.

Vowelled talking water, mimicking her voice -
O how she promised she'd surely come to-day!
There she comes! she comes at last! O heart of mine rejoice -
Nothing but a flight of birds winging on their way.

Lonely grows the afternoon, empty grows the world;
Day's bright banners in the west one by one are furled,
Sadly sinks the lingering sun that like a lover rose,
One by one each woodland thing loses heart and goes.

Back along the woodland, all the day is dead,
All the green has turned to gray, and all the gold to lead;
O 'tis bitter cruel, sweet, to treat a lover so:
If only I were half a man . . . I'd let the baggage go.

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