The Vain Spell

Edith Nesbit

The house sleeps dark and the moon wakes white,
The fields are alight with dew;
"Oh, will you not come to me, Love, to-night?
I have waited the whole night through, for I knew,
O Heart of my heart, I knew by my heart,
That the night of all nights is this,
When elm shall crack and lead shall part,
When moulds shall sunder and shot bolts start
To let you through to my kiss."

So spake she alone in the lonely house.
She had wrapped her round with the spell,
She called the call, she vowed the vow,
And the heart she had pledged knew well
That this was the night, the only night,
When the moulds might be wrenched apart,
When the living and dead, in the dead of the night,
Might clasp once more, in the grave's despite,
For the price of a living heart.

But out in the grave the corpse lay white
And the grave clothes were wet with dew;
"Oh, will you not come to me, Love, to-night,
I have waited the whole night through, For I knew
That I dared not leave my grave for an hour
Since the hour of all hours is near,
When you shall come to the hollow bower,
In a cast of the wind, in a waft of the Power,
To the heart that to-night beats here!"

The moon grows pale and the house sleeps still
Ah, God! do the dead forget?
The grave is white and the bed is chill,
But a guest may be coming yet.
But the hour has come and the hour has gone
That never will come again;
Love's only chance is over and done,
And the quick and the dead are twain, not one,
And the price has been paid in vain.

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