At a lonely cross where bye-roads met
I sat upon a gate;
I saw the sun decline and set,
And still was fain to wait.
A trotting boy passed up the way
And roused me from my thought;
I called to him, and showed where lay
A spot I shyly sought.
“A summer-house fair stands hidden where
You see the moonlight thrown;
Go, tell me if within it there
A lady sits alone.”
He half demurred, but took the track,
And silence held the scene;
I saw his figure rambling back;
I asked him if he had been.
“I went just where you said, but found
No summer-house was there:
Beyond the slope ’tis all bare ground;
Nothing stands anywhere.
“A man asked what my brains were worth;
The house, he said, grew rotten,
And was pulled down before my birth,
And is almost forgotten!”
My right mind woke, and I stood dumb;
Forty years’ frost and flower
Had fleeted since I’d used to come
To meet her in that bower.