by: Arthur Symons

      HAT day a fire was in my blood;
      I could have sung: joy wrapt me round;
      The men I met seemed all so good,
      I scarcely knew I trod the ground.
      How easy seemed all toil! I laughed
      To think that once I hated it.
      The sunlight thrilled like wine, I quaffed
      Delight, divine and infinite.
      The very day was not too long;
      I felt so patient; I could wait,
      Being certain. So, the hours in song
      Chimed out the minutes of my fate.
      For she was coming, she, at last,
      I knew: I knew that bolts and bars
      Could stay her not; my heart throbbed fast,
      I was not more certain of the stars.
      The twilight came, grew deeper; now
      The hour struck, minutes passed, and still
      The passionate fervour of her vow
      Ran in my heart's ear audible.
      I had no doubt at all: I knew
      That she would come, and I was then
      Most certain, while the minutes flew:
      Ah, how I scorned all other men!
      Next moment! Ah! it was--was not!
      I heard the stillness of the street.
      Night came. The stars had not forgot.
      The moonlight fell about my feet.
      So I rebuked my heart, and said:
      "Be still, for she is coming, see,
      Next moment--coming. Ah, her tread,
      I hear her coming--it is she!"
      And then a woman passed. The hour
      Rang heavily along the air.
      I had no hope, I had no power
      To think--for thought was but despair.
      A thing had happened. What? My brain
      Dared not so much as guess the thing.
      And yet the sun would rise again
      Next morning! I stood marvelling.

'The Broken Tryst' is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.



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