At Parting II

AND you could leave me now--
After the first remembered whispered vow
Which sings for ever and ever in my ears--
The vow which God among His Angels hears--
After the long-drawn years,
The slow hard tears,
Could break new ground, and wake
A new strange garden to blossom for your sake,
And leave me here alone,
In the old garden that was once our own?

How should I learn to bear
Our garden's pleasant ways and pleasant air,
Her flowers, her fruits, her lily, her rose and thorn,
When only in a picture these appear--
These, once alive, and always over-dear?
Ah--think again: the rose you used to wear
Must still be more than other roses be
The flower of flowers. Ah, pity, pity me!

For in my acres is no plot of ground
Whereon could any garden site be found,
I have but little skill
To water weed and till
And make the desert blossom like the rose;
Yet our old garden knows
If I have loved its ways and walks and kept
The garden watered, and the pleasance swept.

Yet--if you must--go now:
Go, with my blessing filling both your hands,
And, mid the desert sands
Which life drifts deep round every garden wall,
Make your new festival
Of bud and blossom--red rose and green leaf.
No blight born of my grief
Shall touch your garden, love; but my heart's prayer
Shall draw down blessings on you from the air,
And all we learned of leaf and plant and tree
Shall serve you when you walk no more with me
In garden ways; and when with her you tread
The pleasant ways with blossoms overhead
And when she asks, 'How did you come to know
The secrets of the ways these green things grow?'
Then you will answer--and I, please God, hear,
'I had another garden once, my dear'.

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"At Parting II" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Nov. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/8783/at-parting-ii>.

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