Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1426. Meeting after Long Absence
 
By Lilla Cabot Perry
 
 
I
AS SHE FEARED IT WOULD BE

HERE in this room where first we met,
  And where we said farewell with tears,
Here, where you swore “Though you forget,
  My love shall deeper grow with years,”
 
Here, where the pictures on the wall,        5
  The very rugs upon the floor,
The smallest objects you recall,—
  I am awaiting you once more.
 
The books that we together read,—
  From off their shelves they beckon me.        10
All here seems living! What is dead?
  What is the ghost I fear to see?
 
Unchanged am I. Did you despise
  My love as “small”?—it fills my heart!
You come—a stranger from your eyes        15
  Looks out—and, meeting, first we part.
 
II
AS IT WAS

I TOLD myself in singing words
  That you were changed and I was true;
I would not trust winds, waves, and birds
  That change was not in you.        20
 
I sang love’s dirge before we met,—
  “As murdered corpse in river bed
In eyes my heart cannot forget
  I see Love lying dead!”
 
You came—one look—on word was spoken,        25
  Our hands, once clasped, forgot to part,
And, though our silence is unbroken,
  Heart has found rest on heart.
 

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