Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Memory / Francis Sherman

A Memory

You are not with me though the Spring is here!
And yet it seemed to-day as if the Spring
Were the same one that in an ancient year
Came suddenly upon our wandering.

You must remember all that chanced that day.
Can you forget the shy awaking call
Of the first robin?— And the foolish way
The squirrel ran along the low stone wall?

The half-retreating sound of water breaking,
Hushing, falling; while the pine-laden breeze
Told us the tumult many crows were making
Amid innumerable distant trees;

The certain presence of the birth of things
Around, above, beneath us,— everywhere;
The soft return of immemorial Springs
Thrilling with life the fragrant forest air;

All these were with us then. Can you forget?
Or must you — even as I — remember well?
To-day, all these were with me, there,— and yet
They seemed to have some bitter thing to tell;

They looked with questioning eyes, and seemed to wait
One’s doubtful coming whom of old they knew;
Till, seeing me alone and desolate,
They learned how vain was strong desire of you.

Francis Sherman
from Matins, 1896

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

Francis Sherman (by George Dance)

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