At a Life's End
COME here, rekindle the old fire,
This last night leave no lamp unlit!
In later days we twain shall sit,
Remembering the joys of it,--
The warmth and sweetness of desire.
Here, ere we part, again live o'er
The way we went,--the hour,--the kiss;
Let Love with magic hand of his
Rebuild the mirage of our bliss
In desert days that wend before.
Swart night of August! when we stood
Heart-locked beside the window-pane!
The thunder quickening again
The laggard pulses of the rain,
Wrung a few drops as hot as blood.
Outside we heard the passionate tune
That wooing wind and water keep;
The weft that silence keeps with sleep;
While through the foam-blown silent deep
Sailed the wan shallop of the moon.
Outside, the dark night and the sea!
The sleepy and seductive speech
Of water to the shrinking beach,
The wind that odoured plum and peach,
The white rose that regaled a bee.
Joy through our hand like water runs!
Ah! dearest, could we keep those hours
As some divine unfading flowers,
Renewed by the eternal showers,
And lit by everlasting suns!
But flowers and hours alike must fade;
In the old book of Memory
Seal up these hours for you and me,
As on some page of poetry,
At glowing words a rose is laid.
Let the grape purple in the South,
And let the wild red daisies blow!
I shall not see, I shall not know;
For me, alone the darnels grow,
Only the hemlocks bruise my mouth.
To-night the world is stunned with gloom,
The trees shake in a sudden fright,
Wincing against the hailstones' spite,
And the crape curtains of the night
Hang heavy on the unfinished loom.
Fit hour for parting! Say 'farewell,'
Clasp me no closer, ask no more!
What word can ease--what kiss restore?
The thunder's hearse is on the shore,
And the sea tolls a passing bell.
Muriel Stuart's Other Poems
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