They met in silence, soul to soul
Thrilled forth its voiceless story,
What time the moon on midnight scroll
Traced her fantastic glory
In silver etchings, on the leaves
Each mystic message printing,
On fields of shadow-shining sheaves
Adown the darkness glinting.
With witching spells the night beguiled
The full moon's tender graces,
While in his dusky face she smiled,
And clung to his embraces.
Two human hearts in silence there
This lesson were repeating;
They met and mingled, strong and fair,
Like light and darkness meeting.
No word was spoken, but there came,
Where heart to heart was leaning,
Across the silence thoughts of flame
To bridge the gap with meaning.
From soul to soul an arch of light
Across the stillness stretching,
Ablaze with glory, as the night
With all its silver etching.
Close to their feet, down rocky ways,
A crystal stream went glancing,
White beams, like silver-sandalled fays,
Along its waters dancing.
Now to a weird and waning strain,
Now to a wild, mad measure,
That river song, like love's refrain,
Ran, mingling pain with pleasure.
In light and shadow, peace and strife,
The waters past them dashing,
Were, like their hopes and fears of life,
Adown the future flashing.
The waves with laughter, sob, and moan
On to the ocean fleeting,
Left in their listening hearts a tone
To haunt that silent meeting.
He broke a strong branch from the tree
Above them lowly bending,
Clasped by a frail vine tenderly,
Love, strength, and beauty blending.
She kissed the branch--he kissed the vine--
And cast them in the river,
Then clasped her hand, whose eyes said "Thine
Forever and forever."