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A Minor Poet and other Verse. Levy, Amy, 1861–1889.
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page: 69

Christopher Found.

I.

AT last ; so this is you, my dear ! How should I guess to find you here ? So long, so long, I sought in vain In many cities, many lands, With straining eyes and groping hands ; The people marvelled at my pain. They said : “But sure, the woman’s mad ; What ails her, we should like to know, That she should be so wan and sad, And silent through the revels go ?” They clacked with such a sorry stir ! Was I to tell ? were they to know That I had lost you, Christopher ? Will you forgive me for one thing ? Whiles, when a stranger came my way, My heart would beat and I would say : “ Here’s Christopher !” —then lingering With longer gaze, would turn away page: 70 Cold, sick at heart. My dear, I know You will forgive me for this thing. It is so very long ago Since I have seen your face—till now ; Now that I see it—lip and brow, Eyes, nostril, chin, alive and clear ; Last time was long ago ; I know This thing you will forgive me, dear.

II.

There is no Heaven—This is the best ; O hold me closer to your breast ; Let your face lean upon my face, That there no longer shall be space Between our lips, between our eyes. I feel your bosom’s fall and rise. O hold me near and yet more near ; Ah sweet ; I wonder do you know How lone and cold, how sad and drear, Was I a little while ago ; Sick of the stress, the strife, the stir ; But I have found you, Christopher.

III.

If only you had come before ! (This is the thing I most deplore) page: 71 A seemlier woman you had found, More calm, by courtesies more bound, Less quick to greet you, more subdued Of appetite ; of slower mood. But ah ! you come so late, so late ! This time of day I can’t pretend With slight, sweet things to satiate The hunger‐cravings. Nay, my friend, I cannot blush and turn and tremble, Wax loth as younger maidens do. Ah, Christopher, with you, with you, You would not wish me to dissemble ?

IV.

So long have all the days been meagre, With empty platter, empty cup, No meats nor sweets to do me pleasure, That if I crave—is it over‐eager, The deepest draught, the fullest measure, The beaker to the brim poured up ?

V.

Shelley, that sprite from the spheres above, Says, and would make the matter clear, That love divided is larger love ;— We’ll leave those things to the bards, my dear. page: 72 For you never wrote a verse, you see ; And I—my verse is not fair nor new. Till the world be dead, you shall love but me, Till the stars have ceased, I shall love but you.

EPILOGUE.

Thus ran the words ; or rather, thus did run Their purport. Idly seeking in the chest (You see it yonder), I had found them there : Some blotted sheets of paper in a case, With a woman’s name writ on it : “Adelaide.” Twice on the writing there was scored the date Of ten years back ; and where the words had end Was left a space, a dash, a half‐writ word, As tho’ the writer minded, presently The matter to pursue. I questioned her, That worthy, worthy soul, my châtelaine, Who, nothing loth, made answer. There had been Another lodger ere I had the rooms, Three months gone by—a woman. “Young, sir ? No. Must have seen forty if she’d seen a day ! A lonesome woman ; hadn’t many friends ; Wrote books, I think, and things for newspapers. page: 73 Short in her temper—eyes would flash and flame At times, till I was frightened. Paid her rent Most regular, like a lady. Ten years back, They say (at least Ann Brown says), ten years back The lady had a lover. Even then She must have been no chicken. Three months since She died. Well, well, the Lord is kind and just. I did my best to tend her, yet indeed It’s bad for trade to have a lodger die. Her brother came, a week before she died : Buried her, took her things, threw in the fire The littered heaps of paper. Yes, the sheets, They must have been forgotten in the chest ;— I never knew her name was Adelaide.”
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