On The Stair

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AS I went lonely up the stair
Ah me, the ghost that I saw there!
So bright and near it seemed to be,
It laid a hand with tender touch
On my sad eyes that wept too much,
And bent a wistful face to me,–
It was the friend whose heart I brake
With many a grief for my false sake.

The hand that sought to dry my tears
Had dried her own in earlier years–
The patient tears I made her shed.
The face that bent to comfort me
From the dark hall where none could see
Had smiled on me as she lay dead.
It was the friend I did not spare
Who met me on the lonely stair.

If I could live those years again
And break no trust, and give no pain,
And nobly grieve to see her die,
We could forget that she was dead,
And all the years so strangely fled,
And love this meeting, she and I;
But I was false as friend could be
And she comes back to comfort me.

© Annie Campbell Huestis