Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FICKLE DAY, by PHOEBE CARY



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THE FICKLE DAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Last night, when the sweet young moon shone
Last Line: We well may weep together!
Subject(s): Love Unrequited


LAST night, when the sweet young moon shone clear
In her hall of starry splendor,
I said what a maiden loves to hear,
To a maiden true and tender.
She promised to walk with me at noon,
In the meadow red with clover;
And I set her words to a pleasant tune,
And sang them over and over.
So awake in the early dawn I lay,
And heard the stir and humming
The glad earth makes when her orchestra
Of a thousand birds is coming.

I saw the waning lights in the skies
Blown out by the breath of morning;
And the morn grow pale as a maid who dies,
When her loving wins but scorning.
And I said, the day will never rise;
On her cloudy couch she lingers,
Still pressing the lids of her sweet blue eyes
Close shut with her rosy fingers.
But she rose at last, and stood arrayed
Like a queen for a royal crowning,
And I thought her look was never made
For changing or for frowning.

But alas for the dreams that round us play!
For the plans of mortal making!
And alas for the false and fickle day
That looked so fair at waking!
For suddenly on the world she frowned,
Till the birds grew still in their places,
And the blossoms turned their eyes on the ground
To hide their frightened faces.
And the light grew checkered where it lay,
Across the hill and meadow,
For she hid her sunny hair away
Under a net of shadow.

And close in the folds of a cloudy veil,
Her altered beauty keeping,
She breathed a low and lonesome wail,
And softly fell a-weeping.
And now, my dream of the time to be,
My beautiful dream is over;
For no maiden will walk at noon with me
In the meadow red with clover.
And within and without I feel and see
But woeful, weary weather;
Ah! wretched day; ah! wretched me --
We well may weep together!





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