OLD.

They stood together at the garden gate;
They heard the night bird calling to his mate;
                    The sun had set,
And all the vines upon the summer bowers,
The long green grasses, and the blooming flowers
                    Were dewy wet.

The sun's last rays had lit the Western skies
And dipped the mass of clouds in golden dyes
                   Brilliant and grand.
They stood in silence for a little while,
And then he turned, and with a tender smile
                   He took her hand.

"Of all the sweet days we have known, my friend,"
He said half sadly, "This will be the end.
                   I grieve to go,
Loving, as I shall never love again;
It rends my heart-strings, and it gives me pain,
                   But well I know

"I could not make you happy with my love,
You, tender hearted, gentle as a dove,
                   And I---oh, well!
I cannot grovel on in this dull life.
How my soul yearns for scenes of noise and strife
                   No tongue can tell.

And so I give you back the pledge you gave,
I should but drag you to an early grave
                   With my unrest.
You are unfettered; but here at your feet
I leave my heart; oh, may you be, my sweet,
                   Forever blest."

She drew from off her hand the hoop of gold
(Dearer to her by far than wealth untold)
                   And gave to him,
And as she, slow and silent, moved away,
Her life like all that Western sky grew gray
                   And bleak and grim.

He walks to-day, with kings upon the earth;
He dwells in scenes of revelry and mirth,
                   With naught of care.
And she--the sun that set for her in deepest gloom,
And never rose, will rise beyond the tomb
                   And meet her there.

Poems of reflection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, M.A. Donohue & company [c1905].


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