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.
 
533. A Little While I Fain Would Linger Yet
 
By Paul Hamilton Hayne
 
 
A LITTLE while (my life is almost set!)
  I fain would pause along the downward way,
  Musing an hour in this sad sunset-ray,
While, Sweet! our eyes with tender tears are wet:
A little hour I fain would linger yet.        5
 
A little while I fain would linger yet,
  All for love’s sake, for love that cannot tire;
  Though fervid youth be dead, with youth’s desire,
And hope has faded to a vague regret,
A little while I fain would linger yet.        10
 
A little while I fain would linger here:
  Behold! who knows what strange, mysterious bars
  ’Twixt souls that love may rise in other stars?
Nor can love deem the face of death is fair:
A little while I still would linger here.        15
 
A little while I yearn to hold thee fast,
  Hand locked in hand, and loyal heart to heart;
  (O pitying Christ! those woeful words, “We part!”)
So ere the darkness fall, the light be past,
A little while I fain would hold thee fast.        20
 
A little while, when light and twilight meet,—
  Behind, our broken years; before, the deep
  Weird wonder of the last unfathomed sleep,—
A little while I still would clasp thee, Sweet,
A little while, when night and twilight meet.        25
 
A little while I fain would linger here;
  Behold! who knows what soul-dividing bars
  Earth’s faithful loves may part in other stars?
Nor can love deem the face of death is fair:
A little while I still would linger here.        30
 

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