The Ferry

written by

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DRAW close the curtains, and shut out
  The spring's green glow and glitter;
  The resurrection-life of spring
  To me brings no fresh blossoming;
I'm wearied of the flowers about--
  The London sparrows' twitter.

If I could dream--if I could see
  Once more the slow smooth river,
  The narrow path she used to tread,
  The sunlight on her little head,
The white fire of the hawthorn tree--
  But I shall see them never.

Only the boat in dreams I steer
  Among the tufted rushes,
  I see her white gown through the grass,
  That thrills with love to feel her pass;
Only in dreams again I hear
  Those unforgotten thrushes.

Sometimes in dreams I see her stand,
  Her hand held out, and making
  The sweet unreal so vivid seem,
  I only know it is a dream
When I reach out to take her hand,
  And find no hand for taking.

So once she stood; and I--too weak
  To dare to say, 'I love her'--
  I dropped her hand, and took the oar
  And rowed her to the farther shore;
I had my chance, and did not speak,
  And chances now are over.

How dark the room has grown!--yet no,
  The sky is blue above me;
  This is the boat--the hawthorn tree
  Is showering blossoms down on me;
And she is here as long ago,
  And she has learned to love me!

© Edith Nesbit