A poem by Nora Pembroke

Beside the open window she is lying,
Through which comes softly in the balmy air,
And fans her wasted cheek; but slowly dying,
She seeth not that autumn's finger fair
Tinges the golden landscape everywhere.

She seeth not the glory of the maples,
That in their crimson robes surround her home;
Nor the rich red of the ripe clustering apples
In the old orchard, where can never come
Her flying feet to stoop and gather some.

That is her home where in life's young May morning,
She careless sung the joyful hours away;
A happy-hearted child, to whom no warning
Came of the future shipwreck by the way,
Or of the worshipped idol turned to clay.

The place has passed to strangers; unregretting,
She looks upon the home, no longer hers,
Of all the happy past she's unforgetting;
But deeper anguish now her bosom stirs,
The sorrow that can find no comforters.

Father and mother lie beneath the grasses,
That lonely wave within the churchyard gloom;
And the sad wind is wailing as it passes
Asking the dead to hasten and make room,
For her that's slowly sinking to the tomb

Seeing as if she saw not, one sore longing
Is she awake to, as she lieth here,
Dead to regretful thoughts that round are thronging,
All too absorbed to shed repenting tear,
Or look into the future drawing near

She hath lost all the keen desire of living,
The power to grieve over a vanished name,
She thinks one thought, poor child, her heart forgiving
All of her wrongs, all of her suffered shame,
And has no power left with which to blame

Never again shall hope with her awaken,
For all hope buried in one small grave lies,
But her heart longs that he who has forsaken
Should look once more with kindness in her eyes
And take her poor forgiveness ere she dies

So in a calm that hopes for no assistance,
With longings that are lost in empty air
Her dying eyes are fixed upon the distance,
Lest he should come upon her unaware,
"He cometh not," she whispers in despair.

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