The love that shone in full desire
Sank beyond the distant shore
And skies glowed red, remembered fire
That blazed awhile 'till seen no more.
Another land will see the dawn,
Another bud will bloom instead
With an embrace that was withdrawn
From paths that, now, alone, I tread.
That soft hint of winter's cloud
Seized my soul in blackest night,
Covered all with graveyard shroud
To leave forever a life of blight.
A vow, a wisp, a breath of air
No longer here but far away
Lost in stillness, gone elsewhere
To worlds apart where spirits play.
Those days that, once, were ours
Depart for death's dark vale
To leave a life with neither flowers
Nor the sound of nightingale.
Thus, the dark around me sighs
Without the gift of love's reward
But floods with light from gleaming eyes
Still locked within my memory's hoard.
The trees that weep across the stream
Shed their tears in private grief
And turn their backs on howling storm
To seek in vain some slight relief.
The branches bend against the moan
Of sorrows for a love now flown
Carried off to a place unknown
To live apart where fate has blown.
Let winds abate, let Time replay,
Bring back the hours of yesterday;
Retrieve the blossom from decay
And wave again the buds of May.
Let the blast of trumpets sound
That I might hear the hills around
Echo with the songs we heard
Where now is but the silent word.
Farewell to years that passed in flashes,
Farewell to what was known so well
And also life that ends in ashes
Compelled to yield to nature's spell.
How short that part of briefest time
Through which our race was run!
How quick the bells that loudly chime
To sound their knells when day is done!
Those souls who can no longer ring
Drift through darkness into mist
Far beyond their happy spring
Where they enjoyed their loving tryst.
Mere shadows that we cannot see
Become our muse of silent prayer
As they obey the last decree
And join the vapours in the air.
© David Paley