I was at peace until you came
And set a careless mind aflame;
I lived in quiet; cold, content;
All longing in safe banishment,
Until your ghostly lips and eyes
Made wisdom unwise.
Naught was in me to tempt your feet
To seek a lodging. Quite forgot
Lay the sweet solitude we two
In childhood used to wander through;
Time's cold had closed my heart about,
And shut you out.
Well, and what then? . . . O vision grave,
Take all the little all I have!
Strip me of what in voiceless throught
Life's kept of life, unhoped, unsought! --
Reverie and dream that memory must
Hide deep in dust!
This only I say: Though cold and bare,
The haunted house you have chosen to share,
Still 'neath its walls the moonbeam goes
And trembles on the untended rose;
Still o'er its broken roof-tree rise
The starry arches of the skies;
And 'neath your lightest word shall be
The thunder of an ebbing sea.