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Normale Version: Three Sonnets on Sorrow (3)
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Three Sonnets on Sorrow

I

A child, with mystic eyes and flowing hair,
I saw her first, 'mid flowers that shared her grace;
Though but a boy, I cried, "How fair a face!"
And, coming nearer, told her she was fair.
She faintly smiled, yet did not say "Forbear!"
But seemed to take a pleasure in my praise.
She led my steps through many a leafy place
And pointed where shy birds and sweet flowers were.
At length we stood upon a brooklet's brink--
I seem to hear its sources babbling yet--
She gave me water from her hand to drink,
The while her eyes upon its flow were set.
"Thy name?" I asked; she whispered low, "Regret,"
Then faded as the sun began to sink.


II

We met again, as I foresaw we should;
Youth flooded all my veins, and she had grown
To woman's height, yet seemed a rose half blown.
Like sunset clouds that o'er a landscape brood
Her eyes were, that they might not be withstood,
And like the wind's voice when it takes the tone
Of pine trees was her voice. I cried "My own!"
And kneeling there I worshipped her and wooed.
O bitter marriage, though inevitable,
Ordained by fate, who wrecks or saves our days!
Lo, the changed bride, no longer fair of face,
And in her eyes the very fires of hell!
"Thy name?" I cried; and these words hissing fell--
"Anguish--and madness comes of my embrace."


III

What thing may be to come I cannot know.
Her eyes have less of hell in them, meanwhile;
At times she almost smiles a ghastly smile,
I have in all things done her bidding so.
Chill are the rooms wherein no bright fires glow,
Where no fair picture does the eye beguile;
Once awful laughter shook the gloomy pile,
Unholy, riotous shapes went to and fro.
There is no sound, now, in the house at all,
Only outside the wind moans on, alway.
My Lady Sorrow has no word to say,
Seems half content; for well she knows her thrall
Shall not escape from her; that should God call
She would rise with him at the Judgment Day.
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