Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.
Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!
Or is it only the breeze in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?
Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling.
Why did you give no hint that night That quickly after the morrow's dawn, And calmly, as if indifferent quite, You would close your term here, up and be gone Where I could not follow With wing of swallow To gain one glimpse of you ever anon! Never to bid good-bye Or lip me the softest call, Or utter a wish for a word, while I Saw morning harden upon the wall, Unmoved, unknowing That your great going Had place that moment, and altered all. Why do you make me leave the house And think for a breath it is you I see At the end of the alley of bending boughs Where so often at dusk you used to be; Till in darkening dankness The yawning blankness Of the perspective sickens me! You were she who abode By those red-veined rocks far West, You were the swan-necked one who rode Along the beetling Beeny Crest, And, reining nigh me, Would muse and eye me, While Life unrolled us its very best. Why, then, latterly did we not speak, Did we not think of those days long dead, And ere your vanishing strive to seek That time's renewal? We might have said, "In this bright spring weather We'll visit together Those places that once we visited." Well, well! All's past amend, Unchangeable. It must go. I seem but a dead man held on end To sink down soon. . . . O you could not know That such swift fleeing No soul foreseeing— Not even I—would undo me so!