Jean Ingelow ( )


A Vine-Arbour In The Far West


I.

Laura, my Laura! 'Yes, mother!' 'I want you, Laura; come down.'
'What is it, motherwhat, dearest? O your loved face how it pales!
You tremble, alas and alasyou heard bad news from the town?'
'Only one short half hour to tell it. My poor courage fails


II.

Laura.' 'Where's Ronald?O anything else but Ronald!' 'No, no,
Not Ronald, if all beside, my Laura, disaster and tears;
But you, it is yours to send them away, for you they will go,
One short half hour, and must it decide, it must for the years.


III.

Laura, you think of your father sometimes?' 'Sometimes!' 'Ah, but how?'
'I thinkthat we need not think, sweet motherthe time is not yet,
He is as the wraith of a wraith, and a far off shadow now
But if you have heard he is dead?' 'Not that?' 'Then let me forget.'


IV.

'The sun is off the south window, draw back the curtain, my child.'
'But tell it, mother.' 'Answer you first what it is that you see.'
'The lambs on the mountain slope, and the crevice with blue ice piled.'
'Nearer.''But, mother!' 'Nearer!' 'My heifer she's lowing to me.'


V.

'Nearer.' 'Nothing, sweet mother, O yes, for one sits in the bower.
Black the clusters hang out from the vine about his snow-white head,
And the scarlet leaves, where my Ronald leaned.' 'Only one half hour
Laura''O mother, my mother dear, all known though nothing said.


VI.

O it breaks my heart, the face dejected that looks not on us,
A beautiful faceI remember now, though long I forgot.'
'Ay and I loved it. I love him to-day, and to see him thus!
Saying 'I go if she bids it, for work her woeI will not.'


VII.

There! weep not, wring not your hands, but think, think with your heart
and soul.'
'Was he innocent, mother? If he was, I, sure had been told,
'He said so.' 'Ah, but they do.' 'And I hopeand long was his dole,
And all for the signing a name (if indeed he signed) for gold.'


VIII.

'To find us again, in the far far West, where hid, we were free
But if he was innocentO my heart, it is riven in two,
If he goes how hard upon himor stayshow harder on me,
For O my Ronald, my Ronald, my dear,my best what of you!'


IX.

'Peace; think, my LauraI say he will go there, weep not so sore.
And the time is come, Ronald knows nothing, your father will go,
As the shadow fades from its place will he, and be seen no more.'
'There 'll be time to think to-morrow, and after, but to-day, no.


X.

I'm going down the garden, mother.' 'Laura!' 'I've dried my tears.'
'O how will this end!' 'I know not the end, I can but begin.'
'But what will you say?' 'Not 'welcome, father,' though long were those years,
But I'll say to him, 'O my poor father, we wait you, come in.' 



Jean Ingelow's other poems:
  1. Afterthought
  2. Seven Times One
  3. The Star's Monument
  4. Regret
  5. The Measureless Gulfs Of Air Are Full Of Thee


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