(04 October 1943 / Germany)

The First Doubt

My heart is chilled with sudden fear,
And heavy on my spirit lies
The doubt that breathed from thy harsh tones,
And looked from thy reproachful eyes.
And seest thou not love's mightiest spell,
Its pure and perfect trust, is broken,
By the cold thought thy heart hath nursed,
And the cold words thy lips have spoken?

Ah, thou of little faith! — Came then,
No gentle memories to thee?
No earnest tone, no still caress,
No smile, no tear, to plead for me?
Had all the love of all our past
No voices calling through thy heart?
Shone not mine eyes upon thy soul
A light to bid all clouds depart?

Though smiles and fond endearing names
Upon our lips once more may live,
Yet love hath ceased to be divine
When those who love must say, 'Forgive.'
Though morning skies are o'er us still,
Yet, sadder than the shades of night,
The shadow of thy first dark thought
Is hiding all our heaven from sight.

We drink no more at Hope's clear springs,
But bitter draughts of vain regret;
Young Love who led us forth to life,
Rose-crowned and joyous, leads us yet, —
But tearful now his weary eyes;
Faint smiles around his sweet lips play,
And red drops falling from his wounds
Stain all the flowers along his way.

Beware, O dearest, lest some shaft
May pierce his gentle heart at last,
And the dim light of his sad smile
No longer on our path be cast!
Lest, parting at his early grave,
With summer's perished blooms o'erstrown,
We go forth through the world's wide waste,
And tread its weary ways alone!

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