The Last Robin
Lyrics and Sonnets

by Ethelwyn Wetherald



SHE was new-wedded, you understand,
     As frail a thing
     As a breath of spring,
When the hosts of winter besiege the land;

And he was a man with a heart aglow,


     Who flamed at the breath
     And loved it till death—
Yes, she died not more than a year ago.

But just at the close she called him in
     Where she lay like a wraith,


     With the light of her faith
In his love on her face from brow to chin.

And said, “Be comforted, dear, my heart,
     The soul returns
     When deep love burns,


And my only heaven is where thou art. [Page 60]

“As a still white moth I’ll come to you;
     Look for me
     When the dusk you see,
And the summer lamp and the falling dew.”


He bowed his head her hand above,
     And the only word
     That his pale lips stirred
Was “love”—and again, “O love, love, love!”

And lo! she had gone beyond his cries,


     Beyond the moan
     Of his undertone,
The plea of his passionate lips and eyes.

But vainly he watched the summer through;
     The twilights came,


     And his lamp, aflame,
Only the dust-colored winged things drew.

In winter Fancy’s a vagrant elf;
     The summer moth
     And the vanished troth


Had faded—he was a moth himself.

And the flame that drew him the most was that
     On a rounded cheek;
     When nights were bleak
It moved at his side ’neath a picture hat. [Page 61]


And afterwards summer came again,
     And he looked with a sigh
     As the nights went by
For a satin-white moth, and looked in vain.

But once, as he sat up late, so late,


     To write to the girl
     Who had set him awhirl
That she was his life, his love, his fate,

The notepaper seemed a trifle thick
     At just one place.


     He made a grimace,
And turned the sheet over angrily, quick.

And lo! there lay a white moth, dead!
     Crushed by his hand,
     You understand,


Under the page where he had said

That he loved another.  Now do you suppose—
     A chance, you say?
     Perhaps so—nay,
Of course it must have been—yet—who knows? [Page 62]