Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
In My Heart
By John Reade (1837–1919)
IN my heart are many chambers through which I wander free;
  Some are furnished, some are empty, some are sombre, some are light;
Some are open to all comers, of some I keep the key;
  And I enter in the stillness of the night.
But there ’s one I never enter—it is closed to even me!        5
  Only once its door was opened, and it shut for evermore;
And though sounds of many voices gather round it like a sea,
  It is silent, ever silent, as the shore.
In that chamber, long ago, my love’s casket was concealed,
  And the jewel that it sheltered I knew only one could win;        10
And my soul foreboded sorrow, should that jewel be revealed,
  And I almost hoped that none might enter in.
Yet day and night I lingered by that fatal chamber door,
  Till she came at last, my darling one, of all the earth my own;
And she entered—then she vanished with my jewel which she wore;        15
  And the door was closed—and I was left alone.
She gave me back no jewel, but the spirit of her eyes
  Shone with tenderness a moment, as she closed that chamber door,
And the memory of that moment is all I have to prize—
  But that, at least, is mine for evermore.        20
Was she conscious, when she took it, that the jewel was my love?
  Did she think it but a bauble she might wear or toss aside?
I know not, I accuse not, but I hope that it may prove
  A blessing, though she spurn it in her pride.

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