Poetry of Kansas

At The Garden Gate.

    A summer night, and late,
In the full splendor of a harvest moon,
    They stood at the garden gate___
Two, singing the old, old tune!
    They sang it low,
With voices falling oft to whispers sweet___
    The notes all know.
    Ah, life___mere life___was sweet
To those two, leaning on the garden gate;
    There did their two roads meet,
Thenceforth but one___one hope, one fate.
    No shadow lies
Amid the moonbeams on her golden hair,
    Nor in her lifted eyes.
    Sweet love and trust!
So fresh, so beautiful when life is young,
    So often crushed!
How sped the low, sweet song on that night sung?
    Swift flew the years,
Bringing life's burdens on their pauseless wings,
    Its smiles and tears.
    But the same love, through all,
Burned on in steady trust, in fadeless ray.
    Now crept along the wall
Shadows that told the waning of the day.
    Harvests had come and gone,
One after one, in cycles ever new___
    Old age crept on.
    Once more, in the summer weather,
They leaned upon the same old garden gate___
    Leaned, as of old, together___
Tim harvest moon resplendent, night, and late.
    The old eyes met,
As in that other moonlight, long ago___
    With sweet tears wet.
    "My love," he faltered,
Laying hils hand upon her whitened hair;
    The voice was altered,
With little breaks and quavers, here and there___
    "My love, 'twas long ago !
I did believe thee loving, pure and sweet,
    But now I know.
    "My sweet wife, you and I
Have shared much grief, and many precious boons;
    But lo, the end is nigh!
We shall not watch through many harvest moons
    The pale light quiver;
Pray, darling, that we clasp immortal hands
    Beyond the river."

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 188-189

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February 24, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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