The island sleeps,-but it has no delight
by Leon Gellert
For em, to whom that sleep has been unkind.
My thoughts are long of what seems long ago,
And long, too, are my dreams. I do not know
These trailing glories of the star-strewn night
Or the slow sough of the wind.
I hear the rattle of the moving car;
The children crying in the lighted street,
I walk along the same old asphalt way.
I see the church,-I hear the organ play.
I see the hills I wandered on afar,
And spots of rain at my feet.
I see the dust-strewn hedge,-the latched gate;
The gravelled path with roses either side;
The cedar tree,-my mother’s window pane.
I see the place where I sat long and late
By the trellis deep and wide.
The red Virginia crumbles at the wall.
The bed is bare where winter’s snow-drops grew.
I feel my dog come licking at my hand.
I pause awhile beside the door, I stand.
And hear the well-known footsteps softly fall
And the voices that I knew.
I slowly creep and peep beneath the blind.
-My father reads his book within his chair.
Some children play their game of dominoes.
My mother sits beside the fire and sews;
Her head is bowed. I know her eyes are kind
By the grey lines in her hair.
I tap the pane to see those tears unshed.
I see all turn, and watch them sadly stirred
By the sound, and peer to see my face without.
They see, and smile, I hear no welcome shout.
They sit and gaze as they that see the dead,
But no one says a word.
The island sleeps. May sleep come soon to me,
And lull these dreams within my shaken mind;
-These dreams that tell me I have seen the last
of those I left so,-loved so in the past.
* * *
I hear the murmur of the moving sea,
And the murmur of the wind.