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Edith Nesbit

(15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924 / Kennington / Surrey / England)

A Life's Story


THE morning broke in a pearly haze,
Then the east grew duskly red:
'Oh, my only day, oh, my day of days,
To-day he will come,' I said.


As the sun climbed up in the clearer sky,
The mists fell down at his feet;
'There is sunshine too in my heart,' said I,
'For to-day is the day we meet;


Perhaps even now he is journeying fast--
Perhaps he is almost here.'
And my heart leaped up at each foot that passed,
With the thought that he might be near.


In my garden the fairest flowers that grew
I plucked for him, sweet, dew-wet,
And held them ready, the whole day through,
To gladden him when we met.


The sun shone warm on the longing earth,
That thrilled to his fervent kiss;
But what to me was the sun's smile worth,
When I longed for that smile of his?


The hours in their flight seemed strangely slow
For the sake of the hour to be;
'Go swiftly now--and more slowly go
When he shall be here with me.'


But the level light of late afternoon
Fell cold on me, still alone;
My flowers were dying, gathered too soon,
And my whole day's work undone.


With empty heart and unsatisfied
I turned from the red sunset:
'Short time for his coming is left,' I cried,
'It shall not be evening yet.'


But the sky grows pale, and a weak wind wakes,
And long flights of birds go home,
And slowly and surely the day's spell breaks,
And I know that he will not come.


Perhaps he has never turned my way,
Nor known how my heart would wait;
Perhaps he has sought me the whole long day,
And has failed at my very gate;


Perhaps all these hours of increasing pain
Have been only a dream of a day,
And after the night I shall wake again,
And 'To-day he comes,' I shall say.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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