by Phoebe Carey
I have said I would not meet him;
Have I said the words in vain?
Sunset burns along the hill-tops,
And I'm waiting here again.
But my promise is not broken,
Though I stand where once we met;
When I hear his coming footsteps,
I can fly him even yet.
We have stood here oft, when evening
Deepened slowly o'er the plain;
But I must not, dare not, meet him
In the shadows here again;
For I could not turn away and leave
That pleading look and tone,
And the sorrow of his parting
Would be bitter as my own.
In the dim and distant ether
The first star is shining through,
And another and another
Tremble softly in the blue
Should I linger but one moment
In the shadows where I stand,
I shall see the vine-leaves parted,
With a quick, impatient hand.
But I will not wait his coming!
He will surely come once more;
Though I said I would not meet him,
I have told him so before;
And he knows the stars of evening
See me standing here again, --
O, he surely will not leave me
Now to watch and wait in vain!
'Tis the hour, the time of meeting!
In one moment 't will be past;
And last night he stood beside me, --
Was that blessed time the last?
I could better bear my sorrow,
Could I live that parting o'er;
O, I wish I had not told him
That I would not come once more!
Could that have been the night-wind
Moved the branches thus apart?
Did I hear a coming footstep,
Or the beating of my heart?
No! I hear him, I can see him,
And my weak resolves are vain;
I will fly, -- but to his bosom,
And to leave it not again!
Source:The Poems Of Phoebe Carey
New York: Hurst And Company