He rose, and passing, paused by her.
They stood a moment in the door.
His dark eyes made her pulses stir
As they had never stirred before;
How soft the night bird sang above
The dull brown heath. Oh Life, oh Love!
He took her hand, and said "Good bye."
Then, singing blithely, went across
The sodden fields: nor heard the cry
Her heart sent up, nor knew her loss.
How bleak, and wild, and desolate,
The wind blew down. Oh Love, oh Fate!
The west turned suddenly aflame;
Striped here and there with blue and gold.
She shook with chills she could not name.
The air seemed strangely harsh, and cold.
How keen the winds were, and how rife
With wintry sounds. Oh Love, oh Life!
She waited till she saw him pass
Across the meadow, out of sight.
His shadow fell upon the grass;
The winds were talking of the night.
How high they whirled the withered leaf;
How swift it flew. Oh Love, oh Grief.
She shut the door, and turned away.
Some task was waiting for her hand.
She shut another door, where lay,
Her sweet dead hope. You understand.
"And they shall weep no more," God saith,
"Nor taste of pain." Oh Life, oh Death.
Shells.by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee:Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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