THE SON OF MELANCHOLY
Framed in fast-fading gilt, a child gazed there,
Lovely and fair;
A face whose happiness was like sunlight spent
On some poor desolate soul in banishment,
Mutely his grief to share.
Long, long I stood in trance of that glad face,
Striving to trace
The semblance that, disquieting, it bore
To one whom memory could not restore,
Nor fix in time and space.
Sunk deep in brooding thus, a voice I heard
Whisper its word:
I turned—and, stooping in the threshold, stood
She—the dark mistress of my solitude,
Who smiled, nor stirred.
Her ghost gazed darkly from her pondering eyes
Charged with surmise;
Challenging mine, between mockery and fear,
She breathed her greeting, 'Thou, my only dear!
Wherefore such heavy sighs?'