Allan

If it were Allan's step that stirred
The rose by the door!—or a deeper word
In the song of the camp, he gayly sings,
That shook the tree and the twining rings
Of the vines that over my casement creep!
The moon is up; does the night wind sleep?
So in the hush and the tender shine
'T were Allan, what joy could mate with mine?

Allan's bride I had been to-night;
Did you not hear a footstep light,
Over the flag-stone, up the stair?
O my heart! if 't were Allan there,
Out of his camp in the wild Southwest
Come to clasp his bride to his breast!
See! a shadow athwart the floor!
Lift the latch quickly; open the door
And let my lover, my warrior in,
That I may be first his smile to win.

Ah, no! nor step, nor voice in tune,
But the wind that woke with the climbing moon
To stir the boughs, and along the stair
Sigh for the foot that falls not there!
But the swaying shade of the willow thrown
Dark on the wall and the wide hearth-stone!
Low let the curtains fall; loose my hair;
What care I though the night be fair?
All the stars in the skies might set
If Allan could whisper, “Margaret!”

He will not come; but his thoughts, I know,
Are of home and me in the tent-fire's glow;
And he bends by the flickering flame to write,
“Love, it is still our wedding night!
For in heart and soul, though leagues divide,
Fondly I clasp my promised bride.”
Or out in the darkness he whispers low,
As he follows the track of the flying foe,
“O if my path to-night were free,
How swift would I ride, my love, to thee!”

God be his keeper!—listen! I hear
Steps by the garden-gate—now they draw near!
Throw up the curtain; the moon 's in the west;
The wind in the willow is lulled to rest;
Hush! there 's a foot on the stone, the stair,—
Is it some messenger sent to bear
Tidings of sorrow? Unbar the door
And see who hurries the threshold o'er.
What greeting! My eyes with tears are wet,—
O joy! it is Allan!—“My Margaret!”
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