**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The October Night
by [?]

A vision of remembered joy
Reveals itself to thee once more;
Why fearest thou to live it o’er,
Retracing it without annoy?
Wouldst thou confide the truth to me,
And yet those golden days disprove?
If fate has been unkind to thee,
Do thou no less, my friend, than she,
And smile upon thine early love.

Rather I dare to smile upon my woe.
Muse, I have said it, I would fain review
My crosses, visions, frenzy,–calmly show
The hour, place, circumstance, in order due.
‘T was an autumnal evening, I recall,
Chill, gloomy; this one brings it back again.
The murmuring wind’s monotonous rise and fall
Lulled sombre care within my weary brain.
I waited at the casement for my love,
And listening in the darkness black as death,
Such melancholy did my spirit move
That all at once I doubted of her faith.
The street wherein I dwelt was lonely, poor,
Lantern in hand, at times, a shade passed by,
When the gale whistled through the half-oped door.
One seemed to hear afar a human sigh.
I know not to what omen, sooth to say,
My superstitious spirit fell a prey.
Vainly I summoned courage–coward-like
I shuddered when the clock began to strike.
She did not come! Alone, with downcast head,
I stared at street and walls like one possessed.
How may I tell the insensate passion bred
By that inconstant woman in my breast!
I loved but her in all the world. One day
Apart from her seemed worse than death to me.
Yet I remember how I did essay
That cruel night to snap my chain, go free.
I named her traitress, serpent, o’er and o’er,
Recalled the anguish suffered for her sake,
Alas! her fatal beauty rose once more,
What grief, what torture in my heart to wake!
At last morn broke; with waiting vain outworn,
I fell asleep against the casement there.
I oped my lids upon the day new born,
My dazzled glance swam in the radiant air.
Then on the outer staircase, suddenly,
I heard soft steps ascend the narrow flight.
Save me, Great God! I see her–it is she!
Whence com’st thou? speak, where hast thou been this night?
What dost thou seek? who brings thee here thus late?
Where has this lovely form reclined till day,
While I alone must watch and weep and wait?
Where, and on whom hast thou been smiling, say!
Out, insolent traitress! canst thou come accurst,
And offer to my kiss thy lips’ ripe charms?
What cravest thou? By what unhallowed thirst
Darest thou allure me to thy jaded arms?
Avaunt, begone! ghost of my mistress dead,
Back to thy grave! avoid the morning’s beam!
Be my lost youth no more remembered!
And when I think of thee, I’ll know it was a dream!

Be calm! I beg thee, I implore!
I shudder, hearing of thy pain.
O dearest friend, thy wound once more
Is opening to bleed again.
Is it so very deep, alas!
How slowly do the traces pass
Of this world’s troubles! Thou, my son,
Forget her! let thy memory shun
Even to this woman’s very name,
My pitying lips refuse to frame.

Shame upon her, who first
Treason and falsehood taught!
With grief and wrath accurst,
Who set my brain distraught.
Shame, woman baleful-eyed,
Whose fatal love entombed
In shadows of thy pride
My April ere it bloomed.
It was thy voice, thy smile,
Thy poisoned glances bright,
Which taught me to revile
The semblance of delight.
Thy grace of girlish years
Murdered my peace, my sleep.
If I lose faith in tears,
‘T is that I saw thee weep.
I yielded to thy power
A child’s simplicity.
As to the dawn the flower,
So oped my heart to thee.
Doubtless this helpless heart
Was thine without defence.
Were ‘t not the better part
To spare its innocence?
Shame! thou who didst beget
My earliest, youngest woe.
The tears are streaming yet
Which first thou madest flow.
Quenchless this source is found
Which thou hast first unsealed.
It issues from a wound
That never may be healed.
But in the bitter wave
I shall be clean restored,
And from my soul shall lave
Thy memory abhorred!