Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Parting Hour

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Olive Custance b. 1874

The Parting Hour

NOT yet, dear love, not yet: the sun is high;

You said last night “At sunset I will go.”

Come to the garden, where when blossoms die

No word is spoken; it is better so:

Ah! bitter word “Farewell.”

Hark! how the birds sing sunny songs of spring!

Soon they will build, and work will silence them;

So we grow less light-hearted as years bring

Life’s grave responsibilities—and then

The bitter word “Farewell.”

The violets fret to fragrance ’neath your feet,

Heaven’s gold sunlight dreams aslant your hair:

No flower for me! your mouth is far more sweet.

O, let my lips forget, while lingering there,

Love’s bitter word “Farewell.”

Sunset already! have we sat so long?

The parting hour, and so much left unsaid!

The garden has grown silent—void of song,

Our sorrow shakes us with a sudden dread!

Ah! bitter word “Farewell.”