Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 10/"The glove"



Since you have asked, I needs most tell the history
Of how I gained yon pearly little glove:
Alas! it is the key to no soft mystery,
Nor gage of tourney in the lists of love.


Twas thus I found it,—through the city’s bustle
I wandered one still autumn eve, alone:
A tall slight form brushed by with silken rustle,
And past into a carriage, and was gone.


One glance I had, in that I caught the gleaming
Of violet eyes, o’er which the ripp’ling tress
Glanced cold,—a face like those we see in dreaming,
As perfect in its shadowy loveliness.


And so she passed, a glorious light about her
Clothed, like a summer-dawn, in silver-gray,
And left the crowded street as dark without her
As winter skies whose moon has past away.


This little gauntlet which her hand was clasping,
Fell from her as she reached the carriage door,
And floated down, as flutters from the aspen
Some trembling leaflet whose brief day is o’er.


And I,—I found it on the pavement lying,
Pale as the marble Venus’ missing hand.
Or some small flake of foam which Ocean, flying,
Leaves in a furrow of the moistened sand.


She was so like some queen of the ideal—
With that bright brow, those soft eyes’ shadowy gleam—
I fain would keep this pledge to prove her real,
To mark her difference from an airy dream.


And though her glove has unto me been donor
Of much sweet thought, yet I can think it well
That she should know as little of its owner
As I of her from whose fair hand it fell.


Why should I drag her from her high position,
Her niche above this work-day world’s long reach?
Hardly a fact, nor wholly yet a vision,
She joins for me the better parts of each.

A. M. B.