No Message

No Message  (1885) 
by Mary Hannay Foott

She heard the story of the end,
   Each message, too, she heard;
And there was one for every friend;
   For her alone — no word.

And shall she bear a heavier heart,
   And deem his love was fled;
Because his soul from earth could part
   Leaving her name unsaid?

No — No! — Though neither sign nor sound
   A parting thought expressed —
Not heedless passed the Homeward-Bound
   Of her he loved the best.

Of voyage-perils, bravely borne,
   He would not tell the tale;
Of shattered planks and canvas torn,
   And war with wind and gale.

He waited till the light-house star
   Should rise against the sky;
And from the mainland, looming far,
   The forest scents blow by.

He hoped to tell — assurance sweet! —
   That pain and grief were o'er —
What blessings haste the soul to meet,
   Ere yet within the door.

Then one farewell he thought to speak
   When all the rest were past —
As in the parting-hour we seek
   The dearest hand the last.

And while for this delaying but
   To see Heaven's opening Gate —
Lo, it received him — and was shut —
   Ere he could say "I wait."

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (January 2019).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joined the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.