Never to Know

One within, in a crimson glow,
          Silently sitting:
One without, o’er the fallen snow,
          Wearily flitting:
          Never to know
That one looked out with yearning sighs,
While one looked in with wistful eyes,
          And went unwitting.

What came of the one without that so
          Wearily wended?
Under the stars and under the snow,
          Her journey ended!
          Never to know
That the answer came to those wistful eyes,
And passed away in those yearning sighs,
          With night winds blended.

What came of the one within that so
          Yearned forth with sighing?
More sad to my thinking his fate, the glow
          Drearily dying,
          Never to know
That for a moment his life was nigh,
And he sought it not and it passed him by,
          Recall denying.

These were two hearts that long ago–
          Dreaming and waking–
Each to a poet revealed its woe,
          Wasting and breaking:
          Never to know
That if each to other had but done so,
Both had rejoiced in the crimson glow,
And one had not lain ’neath the stars and snow
          Forsaken, forsaking.

Source: Craig, Isa. Duchess Agnes Etc. London: Alexander Strahan, 1864. 135-36.
(Available on Google Books)
Periodical version: The English Woman’s Journal 8.47 (1 January 1862): 314-15.


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