Night fell one year ago, like this.
He had been writing steadily.
Among these dusky walls of books,
How bright he looked, intense as flame!
Suddenly he paused,
The firelight in his hair,
And said, “The time has come to go.”
I took his hand;
We watched the logs burn out;
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The gray path glided before me
Through cool, green shadows;
Little leaves hung in the soft air
Like drowsy moths;
A group of dark trees, gravely conferring,
Made me conscious of the gaucherie of sound;
Farther on, a slim lilac
Drew me down to her on the warm grass.
“How sweet is peace!”
My serene heart said.
Then, suddenly, in a curve of the road,
A bright battalion, swaying,
They marched with fluttering flags,
And gay fifes playing!
A swift flame leapt in my heart;
I burned with passion;
I was tainted with cruelty;
I wanted to march in the wind,
To tear the silence with gay music,
And to slash the sober green
Until it sobbed and bled.
The tulips have found me out.
Florence Ripley Mastin
Florence Ripley Mastin was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania, in 1886. She published several books of poetry, including Green Leaves (James T. White & Co., 1918) and Cables of Cobweb (H. Harrison, 1935). She died in 1968.