Afterwards

Poem By Arthur Henry Adams

NOW that our pathways sever here,
And mine slopes down across the night,
Whence I shall see you burning clear
A beacon on the mountain-height—
Now that our pathways sever here,
I have no kiss, I have no tear.
Your eyes my lonely world have lit
With sunset peace that lingers yet,
And on my gladdened heart is writ
No shade of blame, and no regret.
Your eyes my sombre world have lit,
And made a new world out of it.
Your soul is woven, strand and strand,
With mine across the woof of Time;
Your fingers trickle from my hand—
Yet where you go my soul shall climb.
Our souls are woven, strand with strand;
Think you the pattern was not planned?
Love finds a solace in regret—
With the rich past I am content
You dare not ask me to forget;
With memories I am opulent.
Love finds this solace in regret:
What solace if we had not met?

The richest guerdon of this earth
You gave me like a flower to wear;
My heart is dowered beyond dearth,
A treasure through the dark I bear—
The richest guerdon of this earth,
The knowledge of one woman's worth.
The flower of your dear love is dead;
But Springs come ever with the years:
I asked you for your heart: instead
You gave me more, you gave your tears!
The blossom of your love is dead;
But all its fragrance is not fled.
Our ways lie solitary, long,
And we have done with halt and rest;
On to the goal the others throng,
No longer may we fare abreast.
Our ways lie solitary, long,
Yet through my sorrow laughs this song:—
Our pathways only now begin
To close the circle in, complete,
Until our purpose we shall win,
Until again, far off, we meet.
Our pathways only now begin
To narrow, narrow, narrow in!

The race is ready to be run,
But clear and certain is our quest;
Your heart the prize that will be won.
This dallying was but a test
To try us ere the race be run.
Now—now the journey is begun!
Chance is not chance—but very wise.
I might have missed you blindly. Lo,
The countersign! Without disguise,
The soul I seek at last I know.
Chance is not chance—but very wise.
We part, that we may recognise.

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