The Last Page

The story ends, and the book I close—
The well-worn book of The Passing Year—
I've finished reading its weals and woes,
Its bits of briar, its leaves of rose,
The story is done to-day, my dear.

In my hand I hold a book unread,
Uncut the pages of Ninety-one;
Sweet will it be as the year just fled?
As bitter a thing when lying dead,
As the tale just told, the year just done?

I look no more in its covers twain,
The prose is much, and the poems are few,
Yet e're I toss it aside I fain
Would part its pages and turn again
To find where I first read, dear, of you.

The chapter's headed with but your name,
'Twas writ in warmth of the summer shine,
'Till then the story was dull and tame,
But, O! the soul of it since you came
Bewitches me like a wild, rare wine.

Has life another such book for me,
Entrancing, subtle, and sweet as this?
Do chapters sealed in the year to be
Reflect the moments of misery,
Of empty words, or a careless kiss?

In my hand I hold a story new,
Is it grey and grim, or gold and fair?
Will every line speak, dear, of you,
Right unto the end, as now they do,
Or O! will your name be missing there?
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