Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman


 

AFTER A PARTING

TO J.W.R.


 

What ails the air in Denmark,
And darkens all the day?
There is a gloom upon the place,
Since Hamlet went away.

The morning and the noonday

5

Are no more magical,
And no more comes the witchery
That fell with evenfall.

There is no heart in laughter,
There is no cheer in wine,

10

Even the women’s shining eyes
Have somehow veiled their shine.

There is no royal presence,
No smile to bless the day,
No word to make us gladder, now

15

The prince is gone away.

The fair and wide-spread city,
That used to bask in gold
Under the mellow autumn sun,
Is dull and gray and cold.

20


The street-cries that were music
To herald in the morn,
Under a wintry twilight now
Fall minor and forlorn.

The lamps that flashed at sunset

25

Across the purple square
To make a twinkling fairyland,
Are dimmer than they were.

No lights are in the palace,
No crowd about the door,

30

The chain is rusting on the gate,
And dark is Elsinore.

There’s something drear in Denmark
That saddens every day,
For lonely-hearted is the place

35
Since Hamlet went away.