At Dawn and Dusk

The First of May


Victor James Daley

THE WATERS make a music low:
        The river reeds
Are trembling to the tunes of long ago—
        Dead days and deeds

Become alive again, as on
        I float, and float,
Through shadows of the golden summers gone
        And springs remote.

Above my head the trees bloom out
        In white and red
Great blossoms, that make glad the air about;
        And old suns shed

Their rays athwart them. Ah, the light
        Is bright and fair!
No suns that shine upon me now are bright
        As those suns were.

And, gazing down into the stream,
        I see a face,
As sweet as buds that blossom in a dream,
        Ere sorrows chase

Fair dreams from men, and send in lieu
        Sad thoughts. A wreath
Of blue-bells binds the head—a bluer blue
        The eyes beneath.

This is my little Annie’s face;
        My child-sweetheart
Whom long ago I lost in that dark place
        Where all lives part.

Beside me still I see her stand,
        Who is no more.
She walked with me through childhood, hand in hand,
        But at the door

Of youth departed from me. Fain
        Was I that day
To go with her. Ah, sweetheart, come again
        This First of May!

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