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Innovation­game

The ashes of a maiden


I went to the place where we did meet
when we were lovers two;
I went there to recall your love
and all we used to do -
yet did I need to scan those slopes,
to walk there once again,
before I could relive the steps
we took - and all the pain?

I will ne’er forget the eyes,
the smile, the laughing voice
which once were what I knew and loved
above all human choice:
the eyes that danced, the voice that soothed,
the smile that warmed the air
when all around was still and cold
and I would fain despair

The brambles that we used to search
for berries ripe and soft
still rear and strike at loosened threads
when wander I aloft
at night in clouds of fantasy:
then, severed from the will,
my mind recalls fond memories
on which it lingers still.

’Mid whispering mists of early morn’
on damp October days,
I sit upon the old stone wall
as I had used always
to wait - but no more do you come
and so I there remain
until at last the Sun comes up
and then I know ’tis in vain.

I build again the old camp fire
and then I peg the guys;
I cut the wood and cook the food,
but only gnats and flies
are there to share the meal with me -
to help me with the tasks;
and should I err or be unsure,
there is no-one to ask.

I walk alone now in the lanes;
the Sun sinks in the West:
it seems to me that I have lost
the things I once loved best -
the friendly voice of nightingale
is silent as the night;
happiness is sorrow filled -
all is dark was once light.

I sit beside the blazing logs
’mid dancing shadows wild
and see within the fickle flames
a face - sad, kind and mild,
which once did laugh and flash with smiles
but now with grief is laden;
and when the flames have died I see
the ashes of a maiden.