Impelled by memory in a wayward mood,
Reluctant, yearning, with a faithless mind,
I sought once more a long neglected spot,
A wooded upland bordered by the sea,
Whose tides were swirling up the reedy sands,
Or floating noiseless in the yellow marsh.
My way was wild. The winds, awaking, smote
My face, but as I passed a ruined wall
Brambles and vines and waving blossoms dashed
A frolic-welcome, like a summer rain.
Shouldering the hills against the murky east
Stood stalwart oaks, and in the mossy sod
Below the trembling birches whispered me,
“Not here!” I reached the silence-loving pines,
And lingered. The mists swept from the wooded hills,
And, rolling seaward, hid the anchored ships.
So, happy, dreaming an old dream again,
Of keeping tryst in secret on the knoll,
I wandered on, listening in dreamy maze
To sounds I thought familiar,-the approach
Of well-known footsteps in the leafy path,-
A murmuring voice calling me by name!
Through the pine shafts the sunless light of dawn
Stole. Day was come. My dream would be fulfilled!
Above the hills the sky began to blaze,
And ushering morn the west flushed rosy-red;
Then, the Sun leaping from his bed of gold,
Scattered cloud-banners, crimson, gray, and white.
There was my shadow in the leafy path
Alone,-none was to keep the tryst with me!
No voice, no step among the hills I heard.
The joyous swallows from their nestlings flew,
Mad in the light with song. Far out at sea
The white sails fluttered in the eager breeze,
But Day was silent holding tryst with me,-
My pilgrimage rewarded-faith restored.