Ah, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
That night of love, when first we met,
You have forgotten, Geraldine -
I never dreamed you would forget.

Ah, Geraldine, sweet Geraldine,
More lovely than that Asian queen,
Scheherazade, the beautiful,
Who in her orient palace cool
Of India, for a thousand nights
And one, beside her monarch lay,
Telling - while sandal-scented lights
And music stole the soul away -
Love tales of old Arabia,
Full of enchantments and emprise -
But no enchantments like your eyes.

Ah, Geraldine, loved Geraldine,
More lovely than those maids, I ween,
Pampinea and Lauretta, who,
In gardens old of dusk and dew,
Sat with their lovers, maid and man,
In stately days Italian,
And in quaint stories, that we know
Through grace of good Boccaccio,
Told of fond loves, some false, some true, -
But, Geraldine, none false as you.

Ah, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
That night of love, when first we met,
You have forgotten, Geraldine -
I never dreamed you would forget.

'T was summer, and the moon swam high,
A great pale pearl within the sky:
And down that purple night of love
The stars, concurrent spark on spark,
Seemed fiery moths that swarmed above:
And through the roses, o'er the park,
Star-like the fire-flies filled the dark:
A mocking-bird in some deep tree,
Drowsy with dreams and melody,
Like a magnolia bud, that, dim,
Opens and pours its soul in musk,
Gave to the moonlight and the dusk
Its heart's pure song, its evening hymn.
Oh, night of love! when in the dance
Your heart thrilled rapture into mine,
As in a state of necromance
A mortal hears a voice divine.
Oh, night of love! when from your glance
I drank sweet death as men drink wine.

You wearied of the waltz at last.
I led you out into the night.
Warm in my hand I held yours fast.

Your face was flushed; your eyes were bright.
The moon hung like a shell of light
Above the lake, above the trees:
And borne to us with fragrances
Of roses that were ripe to fall,
The soul of music from the hall
Beat in the moonlight and the breeze,
As youth's wild heart grown weary of
Desire and its dream of love.

I held your arm and, for awhile,
We walked along the balmy aisle
Of flowers that, like velvet, dips
Unto the lake which lilies tile
Like stars; and hyacinths, like strips
Of heaven: and beside a fall,
That, down a ferned and mossy wall,
Fell in the lake, - deep, woodbine-wound,
A latticed summer-house we found;
A green kiosk, - through which the sound
Of waters and of breezes swayed,
And honeysuckle bugles played
Soft serenades of perfume sweet, -
Around which ran a rustic seat.
And seated in that haunted nook, -
I know not how it was, - a word,
A touch, perhaps, a sigh, a look,
Was father to the kiss I took;

Great things grow out of small I've heard.
And then it was I took between
My hands your face, loved Geraldine,
And gazed into your eyes, and told
The story ever new though old.
You did not look away, but met
My eyes with eyes whose lids were wet
With tears of truth; and you did lean
Your cheek to mine, sweet Geraldine, -
I never dreamed you would forget.

The night-wind and the water sighed:
And through the leaves, that stirred above,
The moonbeams swooned with music of
The dance - soft things in league with love:
I never dreamed that you had lied.

How all comes back now, Geraldine!
The melody; the glimmering scene;
Your angel face; and ev'n, between
Your lawny breasts, the heart-shaped jewel, -
To which your breath gave fluctuant fuel, -
A rosy star of stormy fire;
The snowy drift of your attire,
Lace-deep and fragrant: and your hair,
Disordered in the dance, held back
By one gemmed pin, - a moonbeam there,
Half-drowned within its night-like black.
And I who sat beside you then,
Seemed blessed above all mortal men.

I loved you for the way you sighed;
The way you said, "I love but you;"
The smile with which your lips replied;
Your lips, that from my bosom drew
The soul; your looks, like undenied
Caresses, that seemed naught but true:
I loved you for the violet scent
That clung about you as a flower;
Your moods, where shine and shadow blent,
An April-tide of sun and shower;
You were my creed, my testament,
Wherein I read of God's high power.

Was it because the loving see
Only what they desire shall be
There in the well-belovë©d's soul,
Affection and affinity,
That I beheld in you the whole
Of my love's image? and believed
You loved as I did? nor perceived
'T was but a mask, a mockery!

Ah, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
That night of love, when first we met,
You have forgotten, Geraldine -
I never dreamed you would forget.