Concerning a Jawáb




"There was no other man in the case at all.
She said she had simply changed her mind—
had done so for a long while, but didn't like to
tell me for fear of hurting my feelings.
So I gave back the letters and it's all over."
Extract from a Private Letter.


BEFORE

By all the mighty Oaths that Love can frame,
And all the Penalties by Love imposed,
I swore to Him that Love should be the same
Till Time's weak wings and Time's worn Eyelids closed.
These things, in scorn of Time, I swore to prove,
But Time, in scorn of Me, my Love hath killed,
And, for this Treason, leaves my Heart unfilled,
Lest Treason find a Comfort in new Love.

Alas! Long Usage schools the fettered Speech
To that sweet Creed, outlived an Age ago,
Since Time hath checked his Flight to edge my Doom.
Dull Cowardice sets Freedom out of Reach.
While Pity wails:—''For Love's Sake be it so.'
And Passion's Corpse-Light flickers o'er Love's Tomb.


AFTER

Peace, by Time's Mercy, in the Heart of Me,
The Peace that springs of very Weariness;
As One Wave-rescued looks upon the Sea
So look I on the Day of my Distress.—
A Power defied that stretches forth weak Hands
To hold Me who am passed from out Its Reach—
An angry Wave that thunders on the Beach,
But takes no Trophy of the scornful Sands.

Yea, Peace hath come again and I am free,
And all the Old is dead and cannot rise,
And all the New awaits Me, pure, untrod.
As One Wave-rescued turneth from the Sea
Landward to rest Him, so turn I my Eyes
From past Things to the Future, thanking God.