BLACK CAT POEMS
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Ashes of Roses
Clara Marcelle Farrar Greene
If I had known, dear heart, that thou wouldst be
Struck from my side with half our journey done;
That on life's hither path, so lonesomely
One shadow where were two, should backward run;
Could I have known, O
, at morning time,
That thou at noon must falter at my side,
When we the middle heights began to climb,
And I go down alone through eventide;
Had I but known that all I meant to do
For thy dear sake, must be fore'er undone,
I meant to give, the tender word, the true,
Close hand-clasp on thine own outreaching one--
Oh! I had purchased so much ease of
And my heart now by so much less were wrung;
My thick, hot tears were falling less like rain,
And self reproach were dead upon my tongue.
For I recall, dear one, the days and days
When silently I walked, thro' o'er much care;
Unmindful that one little word of
Thy soul had cheered, and so reacting there,
Had blessed me back again a thousand-fold;
Like sunlight on the dew within a rose,
Which glad doth offer all its heart can hold
To enrich the light, and every breeze that blows.
And I bethink me too, all bitterly,
How without thought of negligence or wrong,
I worked for bay leaves by and by for thee,
So plucked no heart's-ease as we went along.
And now with ashen lips I here must stand,
And look in anguish on thy marble face;
Grief-stricken that I could misunderstand
Life's sweetest meaning, which hereon I trace.
O bosom-drift of
, O hands that mutely cross,
O form that like a pale struck lily lies!
What joy to count all other gains as loss,
Could thy sweet spirit now relume thy sweetest eyes!
But ah, forever sealed these lids, whereon I press
My wild late kisses, and these lips are chill,
Which never more will answer my caress;--
Thy heart no pain can pierce, no passion thrill.
, how bitter thou must be!
Thy grasp how strong, how rich thy treasuries!
must give her best to thee,
E'er she can know how sweet her sweetest is!
poems by Clara Marcelle Farrar Greene