Uncertainty, by Madison Cawein
"'He cometh not,' she said."—MARIANA
It will not be to-day and yet
I think and dream it will; and let
The slow uncertainty devise
So many sweet excuses, met
With the old doubt in hope's disguise.
The panes were sweated with the dawn;
Yet through their dimness, shriveled drawn,
The aigret of one princess-feather,
One monk's-hood tuft with oilets wan,
I glimpsed, dead in the slaying weather.
This morning, when my window's chintz
I drew, how gray the day was!—Since
I saw him, yea, all days are gray!—
I gazed out on my dripping quince,
Defruited, gnarled; then turned away
To weep, but did not weep: but felt
A colder anguish than did melt
About the tearful-visaged year!—
Then flung the lattice wide, and smelt
The autumn sorrow: Rotting near
The rain-drenched sunflowers bent and bleached,
Up which the frost-nipped gourd-vines reached
And morning-glories, seeded o'er
With ashen aiglets; whence beseeched
One last bloom, frozen to the core.
The podded hollyhocks,—that Fall
Had stripped of finery,—by the wall
Rustled their tatters; dripped and dripped,
The fog thick on them: near them, all
The tarnished, haglike zinnias tipped.
I felt the death and loved it: yea,
To have it nearer, sought the gray,
Chill, fading garth. Yet could not weep,
But wandered in an aimless way,
And sighed with weariness for sleep.
Mine were the fog, the frosty stalks;
The weak lights on the leafy walks;
The shadows shivering with the cold;
The breaking heart; the lonely talks;
The last, dim, ruined marigold.
But when to-night the moon swings low—
A great marsh-marigold of glow—
And all my garden with the sea
Moans, then, through moon and mist, I know
My love will come to comfort me.