The Lost Mistress


All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
     As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
     About your cottage eaves!


And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
     I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
     —You know the red turns grey.


To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
     May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,—well, friends the merest
     Keep much that I resign:


For each glance of that eye so bright and black,
     Though I keep with heart's endeavour,—
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
     Though it stay in my soul forever!—


—Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
     Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
     Or so very little longer!

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.