For You (1888)

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They say the years have swallows’ wings,
But mine have leaden feet,
Since last we stood and said good-bye,
That eve in June-tide sweet;
I read the anguish in your eyes
As sad you turned away,
But oh! you guessed not what I bore,
The tears I could not stay.

For you! for you! my darling,
I spoke those words untrue.
I left you though I loved you,
And broke my heart for you!

O love, forgive me and forget
That on life’s road our pathways met,
O time, thy kindly mantle cast
Upon the memory of the past.

They told me if we linked our lives,
That you would rue the day,
And when the sorrows gathered round,
Your love would pass away;
But had I known what life would be
When everyone had fled,
Those cruel words I spoke that night,
Had ne’er by me been said.