Matthew Arnold (1822–88). The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867. 1909.New Poems, 1867
The Terrace at Berne
Once more the roofs of Berne appear;
The rocky banks, the terrace high,
The stream—and do I linger here?
The Jungfrau snows look faint and far;
But bright are those green fields at hand,
And through those fields comes down the Aar,
Flows by the town, the church-yard fair,
And ’neath the garden-walk it hums,
The house—and is my Marguerite there?
Of startled pleasure floods thy brow,
Quick through the oleanders brush,
And clap thy hands, and cry: ’Tis thou!
Daughter of France! to France, thy home;
And flitted down the flowery track
Where feet like thine too lightly come?
Thy smile, and rouge, with stony glare,
Thy cheek’s soft hue, and fluttering lace
The kerchief that enwound thy hair?
Dead?—and no warning shiver ran
Across my heart, to say thy thread
Of life was cut, and closed thy span!
Be lost, and I not feel ’twas so?
Of that fresh voice the gay delight
Fail from earth’s air, and I not know?
But not the Marguerite of thy prime?
With all thy being re-arranged,
Pass’d through the crucible of time;
And hardly yet a glance, a tone,
Of all that was my Marguerite’s own?
To things by mortal course that live
A shadowy durability
For which they were not meant, to give?
Upon the boundless ocean-plain,
So on the sea of life, alas!
Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.
I feel it still, now youth is o’er!
The mists are on the mountains hung,
And Marguerite I shall see no more.