A Ballad.

I saw her, when her eyes were bright
With girlish glee:
Their truthful, fondling, laughing light
Fell trustfully on me;
She knew I loved her, and the thought
That blush upon her cheek had brought,
Like morning sunlight on the sea.

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I saw her, when a sudden shade
Dimmed those bright eyes:
Knowing that she had been betrayed,
Strengthless to rend the ties
That bound her to the traitor vile,
She smiled a sickly, withered smile,
And pointed to the watching skies.

I saw her, when from face and form
Her beauty's bloom
Had passed as summer rich and warm
Fades into autumn's gloom:
'Twas long since we had met before—
Alas; I never saw her more:
She died within that curtained room.

I saw a tombstone yesterday,
Whilst wandering late:
Mottled with moss and lichens grey,
Marked but with name and date.
Ghost-like, it stood before me there,
All that remains of one so fair—
But shall not God avenge her fate?