Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XVI. Crossed Hands and Closed Eyes
If I had known
By Adelaide D. Rollston
 
SHE lay with lilies on her pulseless breast,
  Dim, woodland lilies wet with silver dew.
‘Dear heart,’ he said, ‘in life she loved them best!
  For her sweet sake the fragrant buds were blown,
For her in April-haunted nooks they grew        5
  Oh, love, if I had known!
 
‘If I had known, when yesterday we walked,
  Her hand in mine, along the hedges fair,
That even then the while we careless talked,
  The shadow of a coming loss was there,        10
And death’s cold hand was leading us apart—
  If I had known the bud she would not wear
  Nor touch, lest she should mar that perfect grace,
To-day would press its dewy, golden heart
  Against her poor, dead face!        15
 
‘Last year, when April woods were all aglow,
  She said, “if it be death to fall asleep,”
And, bending, kissed the lilies sweet and wet,
  “A dreamless sleep from which none wake to weep!—
When I lie down to that long slumber, dear,        20
  And life for you has dark and empty grown,
Come to me then, and though I shall not hear,
  Lay your sad lips to mine, and whisper low:
If I had known! Oh, love, if I had known!
  That you would not forget.”’        25
 
 
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