Alexander Smith


THE BROKEN moon lay in the autumn sky,
And I lay at thy feet;
You bent above me; in the silence I
Could hear my wild heart beat.

I spoke; my soul was full of trembling fears
At what my words would bring:
You rais’d your face, your eyes were full of tears,
As the sweet eyes of Spring.

You kiss’d me then, I worshipp’d at thy feet
Upon the shadowy sod.
Oh, fool, I lov’d thee! lov’d thee, lovely cheat!
Better than Fame or God.

My soul leap’d up beneath thy timid kiss;
What then to me were groans,
Or pain, or death? Earth was a round of bliss,
I seem’d to walk on thrones.

And you were with me ’mong the rushing wheels,
’Mid Trade’s tumultuous jars;
And where to awe-struck wilds the Night reveals
Her hollow gulfs of stars.

Before your window, as before a shrine,
I ’ve knelt ’mong dew-soak’d flowers,
While distant music-bells, with voices fine,
Measur’d the midnight hours.

There came a fearful moment: I was pale,
You wept, and never spoke,
But clung around me as the woodbine frail
Clings, pleading, round an oak.

Upon my wrong I steadied up my soul,
And flung thee from myself;
I spurn’d thy love as ’t were a rich man’s dole,—
It was my only wealth.

I spurn’d thee! I, who lov’d thee, could have died,
That hop’d to call thee “wife,”
And bear thee, gently-smiling at my side,
Through all the shocks of life!

Too late, thy fatal beauty and thy tears,
Thy vows, thy passionate breath;
I ’ll meet thee not in Life, nor in the spheres
Made visible by Death.

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