Her thoughts in lovely dreamings seemed to glide.
Max was her trusted friend, did she confess
A closer happiness? Max could not tell.
Two years were over and his life he found
Sphered and complete. In restless eagerness
He waited for the "Horn of Fortune". Well
Had he his promise kept, abating not one pound.
Spring slipped away to Summer. Still no glass
Sighted the brigantine. Then Grootver came
Demanding Jufvrouw Kurler. His trespass
Was justified, for he had won the game.
Christine begged time, more time! Midsummer went,
And Grootver waxed impatient. Still the ship
Tarried. Christine, betrayed and weary, sank
To dreadful terrors. One day, crazed, she sent
For Max. "Come quickly," said her note, "I skip
The worst distress until we meet. The world is blank."
Through the long sunshine of late afternoon
Max went to her. In the pleached alley, lost
In bitter reverie, he found her soon.
And sitting down beside her, at the cost
Of all his secret, "Dear," said he, "what thing
So suddenly has happened?" Then, in tears,
She told that Grootver, on the following morn,
Would come to marry her, and shuddering:
"I will die rather, death has lesser fears."
Max felt the shackles drop from the oath which he had sworn.
"My Dearest One, the hid joy of my heart!
I love you, oh! you must indeed have known.
In strictest honour I have played my part;
But all this misery has overthrown
My scruples. If you love me, marry me
Before the sun has dipped behind those trees.
You cannot be wed twice, and Grootver, foiled,
Can eat his anger. My care it shall be
To pay your father's debt, by such degrees
As I can compass, and for years I've greatly toiled.
This is not haste, Christine, for long I've known
My love, and silence forced upon my lips.
I worship you with all the strength I've shown
In keeping faith." With pleading finger tips
He touched her arm. "Christine! Beloved! Think.
Let us not tempt the future. Dearest, speak,
I love you. Do my words fall too swift now?
They've been in leash so long upon the brink."
She sat quite still, her body loose and weak.
Then into him she melted, all her soul at flow.
And they were married ere the westering sun
Had disappeared behind the garden trees.
The evening poured on them its benison,
And flower-scents, that only night-time frees,
Rose up around them from the beamy ground,
Silvered and shadowed by a tranquil moon.
Within the arbour, long they lay embraced,
In such enraptured sweetness as they found
Close-partnered each to each, and thinking soon
To be enwoven, long ere night to morning faced.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>