But one short night between my Love and me!
I watch the soft-shod dusk creep wistfully
Through the slow-moving curtains, pausing by
And shrouding with its spirit-fingers free
Each well-known chair. There is a growing grace
Of tender magic in this little place.
Comes through half-opened windows, soft and cool
As Spring's young breath, the vagrant evening air,
My day-worn soul is hushed. I fain would bear
No burdens on my brain to-night, no rule
Of anxious thought; the world has had my tears,
My thoughts, my hopes, my aims these many years;
This is Thy hour, and I shall sink to sleep
With a glad weariness, to know that when
The new day dawns I shall lay by my pen
Needed no more. If I, perchance, should weep
A few quick tears, so doing, who would guess
'Twas the last throb of my soul's loneliness?
Not even thou, Dear Heart, canst ever know
How I have yearned these many months, these years
For love, for thee. As the calm boatman steers
His slender shallop where he fain would go,
Tempests and rocks before, so through the dark
To this dim, far-off day has set my bark.
To-morrow! I can hear the quick-closed door,
The approaching steps, my pained heart's fluttering,
Thy voice, then Thee! And all the storm and sting
Of bygone griefs are passed forevermore,
Swept from my life as the resistless wind
Scatters the chaff, nor leaves a mote behind.
As long-imprisoned captives reach the light,
And gaze with greedy eyes on field and tree,
Drinking the beauties of the sky and sea
Half fearful of their bliss; so from the night
Of dreams and shades, half doubting, we awake
And grasp the joy we almost fear to take.
Thou hidest in thy warm ones my cold hand,
Reading my soul in these unwavering eyes.
Nay, thou hast known my hopes, my agonies
Through written words, and thou canst understand.
I have kept nothing back of all the streams
Of my heart-flowings - doubts, nor fears, nor dreams.
So long my life has followed no control
But mine own impulse; now, I pray thee, bend
My will to thine, and so, unhindered, tend
My soul's wild garden. I have laid the whole
Bare to thy sowing; and life's precious wine
Is of thy pouring, and thy way is mine.