Dora Sigerson Shorter (Дора Сигерсон Шортер)

All Souls’ Eve

I cried all night to you,
   I called till day was here;
Perhaps you could not come,
   Or were too tirèd, dear.

Your chair I set by mine,
   I made the dim hearth glow,
I whispered, “When he comes
   I shall not let him go.”

I closed the shutters tight,
   I feared the dawn of day,
I stopped the busy clock
   That timed your hours away.

Loud howled my neighbour’s dog,
   O glad was I to hear.
The dead are going by,
   Now you will come, my dear,

To take the chair by mine—
   Until the cock would crow—
O, if it be you came
   And could not let me know,

For once a shadow passed
   Behind me in the room,
I thought your loving eyes
   Would meet mine in the gloom.

And once I thought I heard
   A footstep by my chair,
I raised my eager hands,
   But no sweet ghost was there.

We were too wide apart—
   You in your spirit land—
I knew not when you came,
   I could not understand.

Your eyes perhaps met mine,
   Reproached me through the gloom,
Alas, for me alone
   The empty, empty room!

The dead were passing home,
   The cock crew loud and clear,
Mavourneen, if you came,
   I knew not you were here.

Dora Sigerson Shorter’s other poems:

  1. The Rape of the Baron’s Wine
  2. When You Are on the Sea
  3. My Neighbour’s Garden
  4. The Fairy Changeling
  5. For Ever

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