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Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 3/A score of years ago

A SCORE OF YEARS AGO.

 

Down by the breaking waves we stood,
Upon the rocky shore;
The brave waves whisper’d courage,
And hid with friendly roar
The falt’ring words that told the tale
I dared not tell before.

I ask’d, if with the priceless gift,
Her love, my life she’d bless?
Was it her voice, or some fair wave,—
For, sooth, I scarce may guess,—
Some murmuring wave, or her sweet voice,
That lisp’d so sweetly “Yes.”

And then, in happy silence, too,
I clasp’d her fair wee hand;
And long we stood there, carelessly,
While o’er the darkening land
The sun set, and the fishing-boats
Were sailing from the strand.



It seems not many days ago—
Like yesterday,—no more,
Since thus we stood, my love and I,
Upon the rocky shore;
But I was four-and-twenty then,
And now I’m forty-four.

The lily hand is thinner now,
And in her sunny hair
I see some silvery lines, and on
Her brow some lines of care;
But, wrinkled brow, or silver locks,
She’s not one whit less fair.

The fishing-boats a score of years
Go sailing from the strand;
The crimson sun a score of years
Sets o’er the darkening land;
And here to-night upon the cliff
We’re standing hand-in-hand.

“My darling, there’s our eldest girl,
Down on the rocks below;
What’s Stanley doing by her side?”
My wife says, “You should know:
He’s telling her what you told me
A score of years ago.”

W. L. W.