by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Back on its golden hinges
The gate of Memory swings,
And my heart goes into the garden
And walks with the olden things.
The old-time, joys and pleasures,
The loves that it used to know,
It meets there in the garden,
And they wander to and fro.
It heareth a peal of laughter,
It seeth a face most fair,
It thrills with a wild, strange rapture
At the glance of a dark eye there;
It strayeth under the sunset
In the midst of a merry throng,
And beats in a tuneful measure,
To the snatch of a floating song.
It heareth a strain of music
Swell on the dreamy air,
A strain that is never sounded,
Save in the garden there.
It wanders among the roses,
And thrills at a long-lost kiss,
And glows at the touch of fingers,
In a tremor of foolish bliss.
But all is not fair in the garden, --
There's a sorrowing sob of pain;
There are tear-drops, bitter, scalding,
And the roses are tempest-slain.
And I shut the gate of the garden,
And walk in the Present's ways,
For its quiet paths are better
Than the pain of those vanished days!
Hauser & Storey, Milwaukee