MY JOURNAL POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter

Poetry from Legends and Lyrics First Series.

Adelaide Anne Procter


It is a dreary evening;
The shadows rise and fall:
With strange and ghostly changes,
They flicker on the wall.

Make the charred logs burn brighter;
I will show you, by their blaze,
The half-forgotten record
Of bygone things and days.

Bring here the ancient volume;
The clasp is old and worn,
The gold is dim and tarnished,
And the faded leaves are torn.

The dust has gathered on it—
There are so few who care
To read what Time has written
Of joy and sorrow there.

Look at the first fair pages;
Yes—I remember all:
The joys now seem so trivial,
The griefs so poor and small.

Let us read the dreams of glory
That childish fancy made;
Turn to the next few pages,
And see how soon they fade.

Here, where still waiting, dreaming,
For some ideal Life,
The young heart all unconscious
Had entered on the strife.

See how this page is blotted:
What—could those tears be mine?
How coolly I can read you,
Each blurred and trembling line.

Now I can reason calmly,
And, looking back again,
Can see divinest meaning
Threading each separate pain.

Here strong resolve—how broken;
Rash hope, and foolish fear,
And prayers, which God in pity
Refused to grant or hear.

Nay—I will turn the pages
To where the tale is told
Of how a dawn diviner
Flushed the dark clouds with gold.

And see, that light has gilded
The story—nor shall set;
And, though in mist and shadow,
You know I see it yet.

Here—well, it does not matter,
I promised to read all;
I know not why I falter,
Or why my tears should fall;

You see each grief is noted;
Yet it was better so—
I can rejoice to-day—the pain
Was over, long ago.

I read—my voice is failing,
But you can understand
How the heart beat that guided
This weak and trembling hand.

Pass over that long struggle,
Read where the comfort came,
Where the first time is written
Within the book your name.

Again it comes, and oftener,
Linked, as it now must be,
With all the joy or sorrow
That Life may bring to me.

So all the rest—you know it:
Now shut the clasp again,
And put aside the record
Of bygone hours of pain.

The dust shall gather on it,
I will not read it more:
Give me your hand—what was it
We were talking of before?

I know not why—but tell me
Of something gay and bright.
It is strange—my heart is heavy,
And my eyes are dim to-night.

Adelaide Anne Procter – Legends and Lyrics First Series

Legends and Lyrics First Series by Adelaide Anne Procter