Theodore Tilton



The Flight From The Convent

by Theodore Tilton


I see the star-lights quiver,
Like jewels in the river;
The bank is hid with sedge;
What if I slip the edge?
I thought I knew the way
By night as well as day:
How soon a lover goes astray!


The place is somewhat lonely --
I mean, for just one only.
I brought the boat ashore
An hour ago, or more.
Well, I will sit and wait;
She fixed the hour at eight:
Good angels! bring her not too late!


To-morrow's tongues that name her
Will hardly dare to blame her:
A lily still is white
Through all the dark of night:
The morning sun shall show
A bride as pure as snow,
Whose wedding all the world shall know.


O God! that I should gain her!
But what can so detain her?
Hist, yelping cur! thy bark
Will fright her in the dark.
What! striking nine? that's fast!
Is some one walking past?
Oho! so thou art come at last!


Now, why thy long delaying?
Alack! thy beads and praying!
If thou, a saint, dost hope
To kneel and kiss the Pope,
Then I, a sinner, know
Where sweeter kisses grow --
Nay, now, just once before we go!


Nay, twice, and by St. Peter
The second was the sweeter!
Quick, now, and in the boat!
Good by, old tower and moat!
May mildew from the sky
Drop blindness on the eye
That lurks to watch our going by!


O saintly maid! I told thee
No convent walls should hold thee.
Look! yonder comes the moon!
We started not too soon.
See how we pass that mill!
What! is the night too chill?
Then I must fold thee closer still!


The Sexton's Tale, And Other Poems.
Copyright 1867
Sheldon And Company, New York.