That Day

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I stand by the river where both of us stood,
And there is but one shadow to darken the flood;
And the path leading to it, where both used to pass,
Has the step but of one, to take dew from the grass, --
One forlorn since that day.

The flowers of the margin are many to see,
For none stoops at my bidding to pluck them for me;
The bird in the alder sings loudly and long,
For my low sound of weeping disturbs not his song,
As thy vow did that day!

I stand by the river -- I think of the vow --
Oh, calm as the place is, vow-breaker, be thou!
I leave the flower growing --the bird, unreproved, --
Would I trouble thee, rather than them, my beloved,
And my lover that day?

Go! be sure of my love -- by that treason forgiven;
Of my prayers -- by the blessings they win thee from Heaven;
Of my grief -- (guess the length of the sword by the sheath's)
By the silence of life, more pathetic than death's!
Go, -- be clear of that day!


The Poems Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume 1
Copyright 1853
C. S. Francis & Co., 262 Broadway, New York
Crosby & Nichols, Boston