Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXVI. Melancholy
Two Lovers
By George Eliot (Mary Ann Cross) (1819–1880)
TWO lovers by a moss-grown spring:
  They leaned soft cheeks together there,
  Mingled the dark and sunny hair,
And heard the wooing thrushes sing.
                O budding time!        5
                O love’s blest prime!
Two wedded from the portal stept
  The bells made happy carollings,
  The air was soft as fanning wings,
White petals on the pathway slept.        10
                O pure-eyed bride!
                O tender pride!
Two faces o’er a cradle bent:
  Two hands above the head were locked;
  These pressed each other while they rocked,        15
Those watched a life that love had sent.
                O solemn hour!
                O hidden power!
Two parents by the evening fire:
  The red light fell about their knees        20
  On heads that rose by slow degrees
Like buds upon the lily spire.
                O patient life!
                O tender strife!
The two still sat together there,        25
  The red light shone about their knees;
  But all the heads by slow degrees
Had gone, and left that lonely pair.
                O voyage fast!
                O vanished past!        30
The red light shone upon the floor
  And made the space between them wide;
  They drew their chairs up side by side,
Their pale cheeks joined, and said, ‘Once more!’
                O memories!        35
                O past that is!

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