To Her

 

I

The sky was clear, the sky was blue. No cloud
Floated to mar the pure serenity
Of the deep vault of heav’n; no apathy
Cast on the mind its coldly clinging shroud
Save where I walked; for she was over-proud,
And would no more than cast a lidded eye
In my direction, thus no sun for me
Shone in the blue; with grief my heart o’erflowed.
She gradually approached, her eye again
Shone in cold dignity and maiden pride;
She passed me by; I fancy that she sighed
And glanced at me once more in cold disdain.
Ah, me! That I could die! But live I must
Till I have brought her castle to the dust!

II

Our vows we make, and our revenge is sweet.
We smile and laugh, feel happy, proud and gay.
Our little lives pursue their even way;
Our cup is full, our triumph is complete.
What tho’ ‘twas no outstanding subtle feat,
One that required great strategy to play,
Or whether all came quite as we did pray;
What matters it? Revenge is hard to beat.
To-day again in dignity she passed,
Walking as aye with forehead in the air,
And with the breezes playing in her hair.
I looked not once. My time had come at last.
I murmured to myself, “Here is my chance!”
And sauntered past without a single glance.

III

Was that a laugh? Oh, cruel, cruel Fate,
That thou should’st rob me of my triumph now,
And give to her the victor’s laurel bough,
And turn my erstwhile love to bitter hate!
That she could laugh, that she could smile, elate;
That she, once sleepy, slow, like to some cow
With cold and dreamy eye and milky brow,
Could rouse herself to laugh at my poor state!
I love that laugh, and yet at once I loathe
Its horrid ringing in my tortured ears;
My very brain its jangling sharply sears.
Marry, or die! One way; no sense in both;
I cannot live and have her laugh at me;
I cannot die! My course is plain to see!