UN RENCONTRE

Now ought we to laugh or to weep--
    Was it comical, or was it grave?
When we who had waded breast deep
    In passion's most turbulent wave
Met out on an isle in Time's ocean.
With never one thrill of emotion.

We had parted in sorrow and tears;
    Our letters were frequent and wet;
We wrote about pitiless years,
    And we swore we could never forget.
An angel you called me alway,
And I thought you a god gone astray.

We met in an everyday style;
    Unmoved by a tremor or start;
Shook hands, smiled a commonplace smile;
    (With a happy new love in each heart),
And I thought you the homeliest man
As you awkwardly picked up my fan!

And I know (or I haven't a doubt)
    Though you did not say so to my face,
That you thought I was growing too stout:
    I, once your ideal of grace.
And ere the encounter was o'er
Each voted the other a bore.

What a proof that fond passion can die,
    In this prosaic meeting we had!
Now, ought we to laugh or to cry--
    Was it sorrowful, or was it sad?
'Tis a puzzle not worthy our time,
So let's give it up--with this rhyme.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.


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