Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
From “Love in Exile”
Mathilde Blind (b. 1850)

WHY will you haunt me unawares,
  And walk into my sleep,
Pacing its shadowy thoroughfares,
Where long-dried perfume scents the airs,
  While ghosts of sorrow creep,        5
Where on Hope’s ruined altar-stairs,
  With ineffectual beams,
The Moon of Memory coldly glares
  Upon the land of dreams?
My yearning eyes were fain to look        10
  Upon your hidden face;
Their love, alas! you could not brook,
But in your own you mutely took
  My hand, and for a space
You wrung it till I throbbed and shook,        15
  And woke with wildest moan
And wet face channelled like a brook
  With your tears or my own.

We met as strangers on life’s lonely way,
  And yet it seemed we knew each other well;        20
There was no end to what thou hadst to say,
  Or to the thousand things I found to tell.
My heart, long silent, at thy voice that day
  Chimed in my breast like to a silver bell.
How much we spoke, and yet still left untold        25
  Some secret half revealed within our eyes:
Didst thou not love me once in ages old?
  Had I not called thee with importunate cries,
And, like a child left sobbing in the cold,
  Listened to catch from far thy fond replies?        30
We met as strangers, and as such we part;
  Yet all my life seems leaving me with thine;
Ah, to be clasped once only heart to heart,
  If only once to feel that thou wert mine!
These lips are locked, and yet I know thou art        35
  That all in all for which my soul did pine.


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