Wrapped in a sadly tattered gown,
Alone I puff my brier brown,
And watch the ashes settle down
In lambent flashes;
While thro' the blue, thick, curling haze,
I strive with feeble eyes to gaze,
Upon the half-forgotten days
That left but ashes.
Again we wander through the lane,
Beneath the elms and out again,
Across the rippling fields of grain,
Where softly flashes
A slender brook 'mid banks of fern,
At every sigh my pulses burn,
At every thought I slowly turn
And find but ashes.
What made my fingers tremble so,
As you wrapped skeins of worsted snow,
Around them, now with movements slow
And now with dashes?
Maybe 'tis smoke that blinds my eyes,
Maybe a tear within them lies;
But as I puff my pipe there flies
A cloud of ashes.
Perhaps you did not understand,
How lightly flames of love were fanned.
Ah, every thought and wish I've planned
With something clashes!
And yet within my lonely den
Over a pipe, away from men,
I love to throw aside my pen
And stir the ashes.
DE WITT STERRY.
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