Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shadows / Richard Monckton Milnes


They seem'd, to those who saw them meet,
    The casual friends of every day;
Her smile was undisturb'd and sweet,
    His courtesy was free and gay.

But yet if one the other's name
    In some unguarded moment heard,
The heart you thought so calm and tame
    Would struggle like a captured bird:

And letters of mere formal phrase
    Were blister'd with repeated tears,—
And this was not the work of days,
    But had gone on for years and years!

Alas, that love was not too strong
    For maiden shame and manly pride!
Alas, that they delay'd so long
    The goal of mutual bliss beside!

Yet what no chance could then reveal,
    And neither would be first to own,
Let fate and courage now conceal,
    When truth could bring remorse alone.

Richard Monckton Milnes
from Poetry for the People, and other poems, 1840.

[Poem is in the public domain]

Richard Monckton Milnes biography

No comments:

Post a Comment