Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
780. The Coup de Grace
By Edward Rowland Sill
  IF I were very sure
That all was over betwixt you and me,—
  That, while this endless absence I endure
With but one mood, one dream, one misery
Of waiting, you were happier to be free,—        5
  Then I might find again
In cloud and stream and all the winds that blow,
  Yea, even in the faces of my fellowmen,
The old companionship; and I might know
Once more the pulse of action, ere I go.        10
  But now I cannot rest,
While this one pleading, querulous tone without
  Breaks in and mars the music in my breast.
I open the closed door—lo! all about,
What seem your lingering footprints; then I doubt.        15
  Waken me from this sleep!
Strike fearless, let the naked truth-edge gleam!
  For while the beautiful old past I keep,
I am a phantom, and all mortals seem
But phantoms, and my life fades as a dream.        20


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