Of wide Lake Michigan. As smooth are they
As if some lapidary's patient fingers
Had wrought their polished disks of mottled gray.
Long have I kept them; and I well remember,
When, where I picked them up. A summer's day
Drew near its close; the sunset glory
Flooded the land and on the water lay.
But not alone the sunset's gold and crimson,
The sparkling waves, the white sails moving slow,
These stones recall. Dear friends were there beside me,
With faces radiant in the evening glow.
What happiness it was tn talk and listen,
To say with confidence the things we thought!
To look straight into the eyes whose open shining
Itself was speech, frank, full, concealing naught!
The city, with its restless, fevered pulses,
Was near, yet not in hearing, not in sight,
No smoke of furnaces nor roar of tratlic,
Marred the still beauty of the evening light.
Alone, we few, beside the blue-green water,
To us, for one brief hour, the world was not.
Its wild ambitions, and its throes of passion,
Its fierce and selfish struggles all forgot.
And while we stood and talked, the glory faded,
The shores grew dimmer in the failing light;
The shadows deepened and the lake grew darker,
The white sails vanished in the gathering night.
'Twas years ago, and time hath wrought its changes;
Yet have these magic stones the power to wake
A throbbing memory of friendly voices
Heard in the twilight, by the darkening lake.
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)