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The Last Time

For the last time,
The last, last time,
The last …
All those last times have I lived through again,
And every “last” renews itself in pain-
Yes, each returns, and each returns in vain:
You return not, the last remains the last,
And I remain to cast
Weak anchors of my love in shifting sands
Of faith:-
The anchors drag, nothing I see save death.

Together we
Talked and were glad. I could not see
That one black gesture menaced you and me!
We kissed, and parted;
I left you, and was even merry-hearted….
And now my love is thwarted
That reaches back to you and searches round,
And dares not look on that harsh turfless mound.

And that last time
We walked together and the air acold
Hummed shrill around; the time that you
Walked heavily,
And I dared not to see,
Nor dared you then to speak of what must be.
We knew not what the shut days would unfold-
Nay, could not know till all the days were told….
But that last time we walked together, and
-And walk no more together, nor clasp hand
In hand, just stiffly as we used to do.

Never in dreams,
O happy, never in stealing dreams
We meet; never again
I live by night the day's slow-dying pain …
The last, last time,
The last-
That time is past; yet in too-golden day
My heart goes from me whispering,
“Where are you-you-you-you?”
And comes back easeless to an easeless breast.
But at night I rest
Dreamless as derelict ships ride out to sea
Empty, and no bird even on the snapp'd mast
Pauses: into oblivion her shadow's cast;
Into the empty night goes lonely she,
And into sleep go-oh, more lonely I.

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