Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Edward Rowland Sill. 1841–1887
 
211. The Coup de Grace
 
  IF I were very sure 
That all was over betwixt you and me— 
  That, while this endless absence I endure 
With but one mood, one dream, one misery 
Of waiting, you were happier to be free,—         5
  
  Then I might find again 
In cloud and stream and all the winds that blow, 
  Yea, even in the faces of my fellowmen, 
The old companionship; and I might know 
Once more the pulse of action, ere I go.  10
  
  But now I cannot rest, 
While this one pleading, querulous tone without 
  Breaks in and mars the music in my breast. 
I open the closed door—lo! all about, 
What seem your lingering footprints; then I doubt.  15
  
  Waken me from this sleep! 
Strike fearless, let the naked truth-edge gleam! 
  For while the beautiful old past I keep, 
I am a phantom, and all mortals seem 
But phantoms, and my life fades as a dream.  20
 
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