A Life's Loss

Do you remember the summer day
You found me down by the ruined mill?
The skies were blue, and the waters bright,
And shadows glanced on the windy hill,
And the stream moaned on.

You sat by my side on the moss-grown log,
Where one whom I loved last night had stood,—
I heard his voice, like an undertone,
While you talked to me in that solitude,
And the stream moaned on.

You did not tell me your heart was mine,—
You only said that my face was fair,
That silks and satins should robe my form,
And jewels should flash among my hair,
And the stream moaned on.

You went away with that careless air,
And smiled as you uttered your light good-by,
But the wind stole down from the frowning hill,
And stood at my side with a gasping sigh,
And the stream moaned on.

You remember the pomp of our bridal morn,—
The jewels that mocked the bright sunshine,
The rustling silks, the ringing mirth,
The flush of roses, the flow of wine,—
While the crowd looked on.

I saw a presence they did not see,—
A guest whom they knew not of was there,—
Heart of my heart, he came to mock
My bridal vows with his pale despair,
And my soul moaned on.

You won, that day, what you bargained for,—
My hair to braid your jewels in,
My form to deck with your silken robes,
My face to show to your haughty kin,
But my soul moaned on.

TALK not of love,—you have come too late!
You cannot dispel my heart's eclipse,—
Where your image should be the dead is shrined,
And no voice cries from the death-cold lips,
Though my soul moans on.

Some summer day I shall wander down
Where the waters flow by the ruined mill,—
Where the shadows come, and the shadows go,
There at the foot of the windy hill,
And the stream moans on.

You will find me there, 'neath the whispering wave,
Colder and stiller than ever before,—
The dreams I dreamed and the hopes I hoped
Will be hushed to silence for evermore,
Though the stream moan on.
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