Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
In My Heart
By John Reade (1837–1919)
 
IN my heart are many chambers through which I wander free;
  Some are furnished, some are empty, some are sombre, some are light;
Some are open to all comers, of some I keep the key;
  And I enter in the stillness of the night.
 
But there ’s one I never enter—it is closed to even me!        5
  Only once its door was opened, and it shut for evermore;
And though sounds of many voices gather round it like a sea,
  It is silent, ever silent, as the shore.
 
In that chamber, long ago, my love’s casket was concealed,
  And the jewel that it sheltered I knew only one could win;        10
And my soul foreboded sorrow, should that jewel be revealed,
  And I almost hoped that none might enter in.
 
Yet day and night I lingered by that fatal chamber door,
  Till she came at last, my darling one, of all the earth my own;
And she entered—then she vanished with my jewel which she wore;        15
  And the door was closed—and I was left alone.
 
She gave me back no jewel, but the spirit of her eyes
  Shone with tenderness a moment, as she closed that chamber door,
And the memory of that moment is all I have to prize—
  But that, at least, is mine for evermore.        20
 
Was she conscious, when she took it, that the jewel was my love?
  Did she think it but a bauble she might wear or toss aside?
I know not, I accuse not, but I hope that it may prove
  A blessing, though she spurn it in her pride.
 
 
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