The Broken Tryst
That day a fire was in my blood;
I could have sung: joy wrapt me round;
The men I met seemed all so good,
I scarcely knew I trod the ground.
How easy seemed all toil! I laughed
To think that once I hated it.
The sunlight thrilled like wine, I quaffed
Delight, divine and infinite.
The very day was not too long;
I felt so patient; I could wait,
Being certain. So, the hours in song
Chimed out the minutes of my fate.
For she was coming, she, at last,
I knew: I knew that bolts and bars
Could stay her not; my heart throbbed fast,
I was not more certain of the stars.
The twilight came, grew deeper; now
The hour struck, minutes passed, and still
The passionate fervour of her vow
Ran in my heart's ear audible.
I had no doubt at all: I knew
That she would come, and I was then
Most certain, while the minutes flew:
Ah, how I scorned all other men!
Next moment! Ah! it was--was not!
I heard the stillness of the street.
Night came. The stars had not forgot.
The moonlight fell about my feet.
So I rebuked my heart, and said:
"Be still, for she is coming, see,
Next moment--coming. Ah, her tread,
I hear her coming--it is she!"
And then a woman passed. The hour
Rang heavily along the air.
I had no hope, I had no power
To think--for thought was but despair.
A thing had happened. What? My brain
Dared not so much as guess the thing.
And yet the sun would rise again
Next morning! I stood marvelling.