The garden hidden off the way
was glistening in the dewy day
as sun, new-wakened, rose to play
in blue, unburdened sky.
A threefold wall laid thick with vine
was raised around it, ivy twined
upon the gate in tendrilled line
through which the breezes sighed.
Within, in centermost estate,
a fountain rose in joy elate;
it rose and did not dissipate,
but lived with laughing smile.
Beside its pool, where lilies slept
a mournful maiden softly wept;
she hid her face but tears surrept
fell gently down the while.
A song she sang of sorrow's dreams,
of griefs revived where sadness teemed:
how sad it sounded in the gleams
that morning cast on dew!
I saw her eyes once; softest green,
not emerald but ocean-sheen
before the gray grows sharp and keen,
leaped out with wisdom true.
Long grief indeed will make one wise.
I saw that wisdom in her eyes,
the memory that never dies
but gives the heart a weight.
They saw, but did not see, my face,
attention by her grief erased;
tear on tear with hurry raced,
on pool-glass to abate.
She turned away, and yet my thought
has by her been enchanted, caught;
I found her, though I had not sought.
She haunts my inner mind.
And like an illness sorrow spread
to tinge her image in my head;
at times I stare as were I dead
and weep with eyes turned blind.