The Last Envoy
THIS wind, that through the silent woodland blows,
O'er rippling corn and dreaming pastures goes
Straight to the garden where the heart of spring
Faints in the heart of summer's earliest rose.
Dimpling the meadow's grassy green and grey,
By furze that yellows all the common way,
Gathering the gladness of the flowering broom,
And too persistent fragrance of the may--
Gathering whatever is of sweet and dear,
The wandering wind has passed away from here,
Has passed to where within your garden waits
The concentrated sweetness of the year.
And in your leafed enclosure as you stood,
Training your flowers to new beatitude--
Ah! did you guess the wind that kissed your hair
Had kissed my forehead in this solitude--
Had kissed my lips, and gathered there the heat
It breathed upon your mouth, my only sweet--
Had gathered from my eyes the tender thought
That drooped your eyes, and stirred your pulses' beat?
You only thought the sun's caress too warm
That lay upon your bosom and your arm;
You did not guess the wind had brought from me
The unacknowledged fancy's fire and charm--
You only said, 'Too strong these sunlit skies,
More dear the moments when the daylight dies!'
And then you dreamed of meetings by your gate
In sanctity of sunset and moonrise.
To-night, when he shall come and meet you there,
To kiss your lips and hands and eyes and hair,
To light with love and hope youth's waiting shrine--
Think of my love, and my assured despair!
To-night the wind will rob the languid flowers
Of secret scents kept close through daylit hours;
It will blow coolly over dewy lawns,
Where the laburnums fall in silent showers.
I, too, shall learn a secret then--shall wrest
Life's hidden things from out her languorous breast,
Shall learn the way that leads away from life
Into the land where nothing lives but rest.
You will not know that the cold air you prize,
After the stormy sweetness of his sighs,
Is cold from blowing through a moonlit wood
Over the hollow where a dead man lies!