In A Garden

Pale in the pallid moonlight,
White as the rose on her breast,
She stood in the fair Rose-garden
With her shy young love confessed.

The roses climbed to kiss her,
The violets, purple and sweet,
Breathed their despair in the fragrance
That bathed her beautiful feet.

She stood there, stately and slender,
Gold hair on her shoulders shed,
Clothed all in white, like the visions
When the living behold the dead.

There, with her lover beside her,
With life and with love she thrilled —
What mattered the world's wide sorrow
To her with her joy fulfilled?

Next year, in the fair Rose-garden,
He waited, alone and dumb,
If perchance from the silent country
The soul of the dead would come,

To comfort the living and loving
With the ghost of a lost delight,
And thrill into quivering welcome
The desolate, brooding night:

Till softly a wind from the distance
Began to blow and blow;
The moon bent nearer and nearer,
And, solemn and sweet and slow,

Came a wonderful rapture of music
That turned to her voice, at last:
Then a cold, soft touch on his forehead,
Like the breath of the wind that passed, —

Like the breath of the wind she touched him;
Thin was her voice and cold;
And something that seemed like a shadow
Slipped through his feverish hold:

But the voice had said, " I love you,
With my first love and my last " —
Then again that wonderful music,
And he knew that her soul had passed.
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