All for Love

by George Arnold

George Arnold

ABOUT the pool the pansies blow,
Fair they bloom in the summer sun,
With violets on the bank below
And tangled vines that at random run;
The water is dark, and cool, and green,
Its surface touched by misty rays
That slant the willow boughs between
On sunny, summer days.
Across the pool the winged seeds
Hither and thither lightly flaunt,
Blown from the shore of bristling reeds
That gauzy dragon-flies love to haunt;
The shallows all are thickly set
With lily-leaves and blossoms white,
Their fragrant petals glistening wet
With dewdrops, diamond-bright.
A silence reigns upon the air,
Upon the pansies by the shore,
Upon the violets, pale and fair,
Upon the willow, bending o'er;
The reeds and lilies silent grow,
The dark green waters silent sleep,
Save when the summer breezes blow,
Or silvery minnows leap.
Adown the path, that hidden lies
Under the chestnuts on the hill,
Came pretty May with the hazel eyes,
Whose father kept the neighboring mill.
Wild she muttered and long she gazed,
Loosely floated her fair, brown hair:
Like one by a heavy sorrow crazed
She laughed and whispered there.
Alas! her story was just the same
That poets have told since poets have sung, -
Beginning in love, to end in shame,
When hope grows old while life is young!
So, sighing wearily, down she strayed,
While the sunshine slept on the silent pool,
To the flowery bank, and the willow's shade,
And the water, deep and cool.
About the pool the pansies blow,
Fair in the summer sun they bloom,
But the water is dark that lies below,Dark and silent as is the tomb:
And I seem to see, wherever I tread
The reedy shore where the willow stands,
The sorrowing wraith of one long dead,
Wringing her ghostly hands.
The mill and miller have long been gone,
The father sleeps by his daughter's side,
And many a summer's sun has shone
Since hazel-eyed May lived, loved, and died;
Yet still in passing, the neighbors pause,
And say, as they glance from the hill above,
"Let us forgive the child, because
Her sorrow was born of love!"

Last updated September 17, 2022