Beyond the Hills of Dream

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

Departure


 

OLD house now ruined, wrecked and gray,
     Home once enshrined of love’s delight
And all glad promise of the May,
     Now hushed in shades of wintry night,— 

Once garment of a thousand loves,

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     Now but a shroud of glooming stone,—
While sad October moans and roves,
     Old house, old house, we are alone!
 
We are alone; yea, you and I,
     Who dreamed old summers in their prime;
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Now sad and late, to see them die
     Along this ruined verge of time.
 
Old rooms now empty, once so bright,—
     Staircases climbed of gladdening feet,
Dark windows erstwhile filled with light
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     Where now but rains of autumn beat:— 

Where now but lorn months call and call
     And sea and gust and night complain,—
With ghost-boughs shadowing on the wall,
     Or dead vines knocking at the pane.

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Old place, whose ceilings, walls and floors
     Still redolent of love and May;
Once more, once more I leave your doors,
     Into the night I take my way.
 
Huge yawning hearths, once flaming bright
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     On many a well-loved face and form
Long gathered out unto the night
     To meet the vastness and the storm,— 

Into the night; where I, too, go,
     Beyond your sheltering walls and doors;

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Where death’s October drives his woe
     Over a thousand midnight moors,
 
Beyond your sheltering, where I beat
     To sleep with stars of dark o’ergleamed,
Or breast the night of moan and sleet
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     To meet that morn a world hath dreamed.
 
Hath dreamed? Hope-hungering heart hath read,
     And carolled morning-lifted lark!
Yea, back of all this muffled dread
     Perchance some splendor rifts the dark.
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Yea, though no magic reach its gleams,
     Nor heart of doubting prove it true,
Old house, beloved, of my dead dreams,
     While I go forth from love and you.