THE sun aslant the carpet, and the rain
Blown sobbingly against the window glass,
While I sit silent with a wordless pain,
Pressing my heart between its iron hands.
The slow hours pass. . . .
Between the dawn lands and the sunset lands
My soul walks wearily with aching eyes,
The whole world grey about her where she stands !
Sorrow and she are tired of the long noon,
The sullen skies. . . .
My friend at work hums softly an old tune,
And in the grate, new lit, a fluctuant fire
Puts forth pale pointed flame-flowers that full soon
Fret all the rough black coals to fairy gold
Of tower and spire !
Sunlight and firelight, but the world feels cold—
The wet trees toss their weight of tumbled green ;
And shreds of torn cloud banners manifold
Drift up the dome of heaven, while slips the light,
Pearl hued, between. . . .
… I wonder shall I meet you in the night,
In that dear house of Dreams, Sleep s dwelling-place?
O Prince ! O Lord of life ! O heart s delight !
O Lover ! never this side of the stars
Seen face to face ! . . .
In vain my winged songs beat against the bars
Of bitter life ; then, falling mute and tired,
Like leaves that the sharp hoar frost sheds and scars,
Lie dead beneath the heaven they desired.
Custance, Olive. “A Mood.” The Yellow Book, vol. 8, January 1896, pp. 241-242. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, , Ryerson University Centre for Digtial Humanities, 2020. https://1890s.ca/YBV8_custance_mood/