by Hervey Allen

Hervey Allen

Under the placid surface of the days
So seeming clear,
Back of the habits of old ways,
A quiet fear;
The locked-up memories of war,
Our Bluebeard's room,
Where the blood creeps underneath the door.

Never will come
In streams of days that ring
Like clean coins down the merry grooves of change,
One without grief's alloy,
Struck from pure gold of joy,
Undimmed by unshed tears,
Nor is it strange.

For in the wraith-thronged brain
Are private ghosts of pain,
Aloof, like patient sick men in a crowd
With half-veiled faces and old sorrow bowed —
Ah! The free days can never come again!
They passed with the far, rolling drums,
Died to the moan and thunder of the guns,
And the mad, glad, clear, lyric birdsong never comes.

Last updated January 14, 2019