New York Nocturnes and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


A Street Vigil


Here is the street
Made holy by the passing of her feet,—
   The little, tender feet, more sweet than myrrh,
   Which I have washed with tears for love of her.

Here she has gone

Until the very stones have taken on
   A glory from her passing, and the place
   Is tremulous with memory of her face.

Here is the room
That holds the light to lighten all my gloom.

   Beyond that blank white window she is sleeping
   Who hath my hope, my health, my fame, in keeping.

A little peace
Here for a little, ere my vigil cease
   And I turn homeward, shaken with the strife

   Of hope that struggles hopeless, sick for life.

Surely the power
That lifted me from darkness that one hour
   To a dear heaven whereof no word can tell
   Not wantonly will thrust me back to hell.