BESIDE THE RIVER.

RAIN, rain in May. The river sadly flows,

A sullen silver crossed with sable bars,

Damp, gloomy, shivering, while reluctant stars,

Between swart masses of thick clouds that close,

Drive with drooped plumes their winged cars

Toward sleep, the scythe of woes.

Woes, woes in Spring. Ere summer deepeneth

The pink of roses to a purpler tint;

Ere ripening corn shafts back the sudden glint {116A}

Of sunshine that brings healing with the breath

Of western winds that sigh, they hint

Of sleep, twin soul with death.

Death, death ere dawn. The night is over dark;

Trees are grown terrible; the shadows wan

Make shudder all the tense desires of man;

No gleam of moonlight bears the golden mark

Of sunny lips, nor shines upon

Our sleep -- Love’s birchen bark.

Love, love to-night. To-night is all we know,

Is all our care; lips joined to lips we lie,

Tender hands touching, hearts in tune to die,

With willing kiss reluctant to let go;

So sweet love’s last enduring sigh

For sleep, so sure, so slow.

Sleep, sleep to-night. Our arms are intertwined;

Breath desires breath and hand imprisons hand;

Breezes cool faces, rosy with the brand

Of long sweet kisses; sun shall dawn and find

Two lovers who have passed the land

Of sleep -- and found Death kind.

 

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