I and new love, in all is living bloom,
  Sat vis-a-vis, while tender twilight hours
  Went softly by us, treading as on flowers.
Then suddenly I saw within the room
The old love, long since lying in its tomb.
  It dropped the cerecloth from its fleshless face
  And smiled on me, with a remembered grace
That, like the noontide, lit the gloaming's gloom.

Upon its shroud there hung the grave's green mould,
  About it hung the odor of the dead;
  Yet from its cavernous eyes such light was shed
That all my life seemed gilded, as with gold;
  Unto the trembling new love "Go," I said,
"I do not need thee, for I have the old."

Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.

Back to Poem Index