Too far away, oh love, I know, To save me from this haunted road, Whose lofty roses break and blow On a night-sky bent with a load
Of lights: each solitary rose, Each arc-lamp golden does expose Ghost beyond ghost of a blossom, shows Night blenched with a thousand snows.
Of hawthorn and of lilac trees, White lilac; shows discoloured night Dripping with all the golden lees Laburnum gives back to light.
And shows the red of hawthorn set On high to the purple heaven of night, Like flags in blenched blood newly wet, Blood shed in the noiseless fight.
Of life for love and love for life, Of hunger for a little food, Of kissing, lost for want of a wife Long ago, long ago wooed. . . . . . . Too far away you are, my love, To steady my brain in this phantom show That passes the nightly road above And returns again below.
The enormous cliff of horse-chestnut trees Has poised on each of its ledges An erect small girl looking down at me; White-night-gowned little chits I see, And they peep at me over the edges Of the leaves as though they would leap, should I call Them down to my arms; "But, child, you're too small for me, too small Your little charms."
White little sheaves of night-gowned maids, Some other will thresh you out! And I see leaning from the shades A lilac like a lady there, who braids Her white mantilla about Her face, and forward leans to catch the sight Of a man's face, Gracefully sighing through the white Flowery mantilla of lace.
And another lilac in purple veiled Discreetly, all recklessly calls In a low, shocking perfume, to know who has hailed Her forth from the night: my strength has failed In her voice, my weak heart falls: Oh, and see the laburnum shimmering Her draperies down, As if she would slip the gold, and glimmering White, stand naked of gown. . . . . . . The pageant of flowery trees above The street pale-passionate goes, And back again down the pavement, Love In a lesser pageant flows.
Two and two are the folk that walk, They pass in a half embrace Of linked bodies, and they talk With dark face leaning to face.
Come then, my love, come as you will Along this haunted road, Be whom you will, my darling, I shall Keep with you the troth I trowed.