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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse. 1912.

Edmund Clarence Stedman 1833–1908

Edmund Clarence Stedman

181 The World Well Lost

THAT year? Yes, doubtless I remember still,—

Though why take count of every wind that blows!

’T was plain, men said, that Fortune used me ill

That year,—the self-same year I met with Rose.

Crops failed; wealth took a flight; house, treasure, land,

Slipped from my hold—thus plenty comes and goes.

One friend I had, but he too loosed his hand

(Or was it I?) the year I met with Rose.

There was a war, I think; some rumor, too,

Of famine, pestilence, fire, deluge, snows;

Things went awry. My rivals, straight in view,

Throve, spite of all; but I,—I met with Rose.

That year my white-faced Alma pined and died:

Some trouble vexed her quiet heart,—who knows?

Not I, who scarcely missed her from my side,

Or aught else gone, the year I met with Rose.

Was there no more? Yes, that year life began:

All life before a dream, false joys, light woes,—

All after-life compressed within the span

Of that one year,—the year I met with Rose!