Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ERRAND, by JANE BARLOW

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN ERRAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I slept, and where her lonely flower-knots gleam
Last Line: "breathes memory of our love that shall not die."
Subject(s): Love - Loss Of; Death; Dead, The

I slept; and where her lonely flower-knots gleam
My dear lost Love I saw a-near my side,
Yet knew our fate, since in my dreamiest dream
How should I once forget that Norah died?

But by a blossomed briar methought she stood,
Whereon the rose's dawn was fair to see;
And "Bend the spray," she said, "and this small bud
It lifts so high above us, pluck for me.

"This is the flower I ever loved of yore,
This little rose, that where its petals part
Is all a-flush within, as if it bore
A rosier rose's shadow at its heart."

Then, "O my love," I said, "needs must there be
In thy dread world, unwist of mortal eyes,
Full many a wondrous bloom, and worthier thee
Than aught that drinks the light of these dim skies!"

"Most fair," quoth she, "untouched of change that mars,
I see them shine; yet this I chide in all.
That steadfast bides their beauty as a star's,
Nor ever a glow will fade, a leaf will fall.

"For so, Beloved, I still have vainly sought,
And missed in sheeniest sheen, in sweetest sweet,
A symbol of the old life's bliss, pain-fraught--
Thine yet--where all delight doth fail and fleet.

"Hence, for the old days' sake, from that far land
To clasp these flowers a weary way fare I,
Because their deathward drooping in my hand
Breathes memory of our love that shall not die."

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