Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/156
I5O DRIFTED AWAY.
The little bird sings in the blossoming vine By the brookside that lies in our way ;
I gather a flower and fling on the stream, And the bird twitters, "Drifted away."
A quick, troubled glance, a hand on my arm,
A whisper hoarse :
"Tell me not dead?" " Not dead, for you see I am looking straight down,
Not up to the sky overhead. My friend, they have left me to tell you the tale.
For Bessie unceasingly pray ; Luke Lee, she was lonely, and only a child
When you left, and she drifted away.
"Away and away, like a lily afloat,
Untethered by guidance or care Away and away, past warning and truth,
Past honor, and promise, and prayer Away and away, past altar and hearth,
Till it bloomed by the cross nevermore Away and away, till the tide of the street
Flung it off on the pitiless shore."
I have told him, poor Luke ! I turn me aside,
Nor look on his sorrowful face ; With a slow, dragging step he has staggered away;
He came with a boy s bounding pace. A handkerchief, twisted and knotted and torn,
By the brookside, is all that I see