When She Is Gone
No light shines through the window when I
No welcome kiss, but gravelike silence reigns
Within the house, and I, I am but dumb.
I cannot talk when there are none to hear,
Or sing when only mocking echoes taunt,
I hasten through the work that I must do,
And flee as if it was some specter's haunt.
What is it, heart of mine, that makes thee still
And listless, as if sunlight ne'er had been
Within thy portals? Why dost thou not hear
The music of the birds when they begin
Their morning carols? And why dost thou fear
The evening shades as they come creeping on?
That bid me leave my work and to return?
Is it___is it because that she is gone?
Does longing for a footstep make thee dull
And irresponsive? Dost thou miss a voice
That cheered thee as the sweet dew to a flower
When rains come not? And wilt thou yet re-
And be carefree and filled with songs again?
I hear thee say, "My listless self will stir,
And joy and hope and songs and sweet sunshine,
And my dear home will all come back with her."
Spring Hill, Kan.
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)