Edmund Clarence Stedman



The World Well Lost

by Edmund Clarence Stedman

That year? Yes, doubtless I remember still, --
Though why take count of every wind that blows!
'T was plain, men said, that Fortune used me ill
That year, -- the self-same year I met with Rose.

Crops failed; wealth took a flight; house, treasure, land,
Slipped from my hold -- thus plenty comes and goes.
One friend I had, but he too loosed his hand
(Or was it I?) the year I met with Rose.

There was a war, I think; some rumor, too,
Of famine, pestilence, fire, deluge, snows;
Things went awry. My rivals, straight in view,
Throve, spite of all; but I, -- I met with Rose.

That year my white-faced Alma pined and died:
Some trouble vexed her quiet heart, -- who knows?
Not I, who scarcely missed her from my side,
Or aught else gone, the year I met with Rose.

Was there no more? Yes, that year life began:
All life before a dream, false joys, light woes, --
All after-life compressed within the span
Of that one year, -- the year I met with Rose!



Poems now first collected:
Copyright 1897
Houghton, Mifflin And Company
Boston And New York