You Have Been Gone So Long

by Lizette Woodworth Reese

You have been gone so long - that you were gay,
That you were gay, and round, and a young thing,
I half forget, and so have made you stay
With those struck out of all remembering -
The crumbled wharf, tall potentates, the sheep
And their grave shepherd on a shadowy hill,
High in the thyme, and stumbled into sleep.
But you were different; so are you still.
Set in the tulips at my tired door,
A scarlet one against your lips, to blow
Sweet girls about you with a slip of song,
That sighs and breaks, and has no heart for more,
So are you now, and ever shall be so;
My dear, my dear, forgive me for the wrong.

Last updated March 28, 2023