Ralph to Mary

by Amy Levy

Love, you have led me to the strand,
Here, where the stilly, sunset sea,
Ever receding silently,
Lays bare a shining stretch of sand;

Which, as we tread, in waving line,
Sinks softly 'neath our moving feet;
And looking down our glances meet,
Two mirrored figures--yours and mine.

To-night you found me sad, alone,
Amid the noisy, empty books
And drew me forth with those sweet looks,
And gentle ways which are your own.

The glory of the setting sun
Has sway'd and softened all my mood;
This wayward heart you understood,
Dear love, as you have always done.

Have you forgot the poet wild,
Who sang rebellious songs and hurl'd
His fierce anathemas at 'the world,'
Which shrugg'd its shoulders, pass'd and smil'd?

Who fled in wrath to distant lands,
And sitting, thron'd upon a steep,
Made music to the mighty deep,
And thought, 'Perhaps it understands.'

Who back return'd, a wanderer drear,
Urged by the spirit's restless pain,
Sang his wild melodies in vain--
Sang them to ears that would not hear. . .

A weary, lonely thing he flies,
His soul's fire with soul's hunger quell'd,
Till, sudden turning, he beheld
His meaning--mirrored in your eyes! . . .

Ah, Love, since then have passed away
Long years ; some things are chang'd on earth;
Men say that poet had his worth,
And twine for him the tardy bay.

What care I, so that hand in hand,
And heart in heart we pace the shore?
My heart desireth nothing more,
We understand,--we understand.

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