The Last Robin
Lyrics and Sonnets


by Ethelwyn Wetherald



 

THE WHITE MOTH.



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,

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     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,

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     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,

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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.”

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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,

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

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

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     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

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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]

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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,

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     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.

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     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,

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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]

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