Sundered Paths

TWO travellers, worn with sun and rain
And gropings o'er dim paths unknown,
Meet where long separate ways have grown
To one, and then diverge again.

They halt anigh the green wayside,
Where groves pant with the impassioned song
Of nightingales; wild roses throng
There round them leaning side by side.

As close and still more close they cling,
Like some weird tale--once more in dreams
Lived through with ghastlier horror--seems
That old, cold, lonely wayfairing.

Oh close sweet clasp of hands! oh sweet
Close beat of heart on happy heart;
Beating as though no more apart
Their pulses ever again should beat!

One look of love! one long embrace!
One kiss that welds two lives in one!
And lo, the sudden lifted sun
Lights their slow feet on separate ways.

Fledged by strong love, their wing├Ęd speech
Is borne awhile from soul to soul,
Then ever-widening waters roll
And drown their voices each from each.

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