Page:The torrent and The night before.djvu/47

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—37—

Like gods outflung from chaos, dreaming
That we were the king and the queen of the fire
That reddened the clouds of love that held us
Blind to the new world soon to be ours—
Ours to seize and sway. The passion
Of that great love was a nameless passion—
Bright as the blaze of the sun at noonday,
Wild as the flames of hell; but, mark you,
Never a whit less pure for its fervor.
The baseness in me (for I was human)
Burned like a worm, and perished; and nothing
Was left me then but a soul that mingled
Itself with hers, and swayed and shuddered
In fearful triumph.—When I consider
That helpless love and the cursed folly
That wrecked my life for the sake of a woman,
Who broke with a laugh the chains of her marriage
(Whatever the word may mean) I wonder
If all the woe was her sin, or whether
The chains themselves were enough to lead her
In love's despite to break them. . . . Sinners
And saints—I say—are rocked in the cradle,
But never are known till the will within them
Speaks in its own good time,—So I foster
Even to-night for the woman who wronged me
Nothing of hate, nor of love, but a feeling
Of still regret,—For the man . . . But hear me,
And judge for yourself:—

For a time the seasons
Changed and parsed in a sweet succession
That seemed to me like an endless music:
Life was a rolling psalm, and the choirs
Of God were glad for our love.—I fancied
All this, and more than I dare to tell you
To-night,—yes, more than I dare to remember;—
And then . . . . well, the music stopped. There are moments
In all men's lives when it stops, I fancy,—