In Old Tucson

In old Tucson, in old Tucson,
How swift the happy days ran on!
How warm the yellow sunshine beat
Along the white caliche street!
The flat roofs caught a brighter sheen
From fringing house leeks thick and green,
And chiles drying in the sun;
Splashes of crimson 'gainst the dun
Of clay-spread roof and earthen floor;
The squash vine climbing past the door
Held in its yellow blossoms deep
The drowsy desert bees asleep.

By one low wall, at one shut gate,
The dusty roadway turned to wait;
The pack mules loitered, passing where
The muleteers had sudden care
Of cinch and pack and harness bell.
The oleander blossoms fell,
Wind-drifted flecks of flame and snow;
The fruited pomegranate swung low,
And in the patio dim and cool
The gray doves flitted round the pool
That caught her image lightly as
The face that fades across a glass.

In old Tucson, in old Tucson,
The pool is dry, the face is gone.
No dark eyes through the lattice shine,
No slim brown hand steals through to mine;
There where her oleander stood
The twilight shadows bend and brood,
And through the glossed pomegranate leaves
The wind remembering waits and grieves;
Waits with me, knowing as I know,
She may not choose as come or go —
She who with life no more has part
Save in the dim pool of my heart.

And yet I wait — and yet I see
The dream that was come back to me;
The green leek springs above the roof,
The dove that mourned alone, aloof,
Flutes softly to her mate among
The fig leaves where the fruit has hung
Slow-purpling through the sunny days;
And down the golden desert haze
The mule bells tinkle faint and far; —
But where her candle shone, a star;
And where I watched her shadow fall —
The gray street and a crumbling wall.
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