He brought me a heart one morning,
Brought me a heart to mend;
And he said (I shall never forget it)
“’Twas broken by your friend.”
“The wound will grow deeper and wider,”
He said in a sadder tone,
“Unless you devise some method
To place it against her own.”
Then I crept away to my chamber,
But a thought, like a silver stream,
Kept trickling along the wayside
That bordered my restless dream.
So I hid this heart in a lily,
When the dawn began to break—
In a beautiful water lily,
That grew on the rim of a lake.
Yes, down on a snowy pillow,
In a cradle warm and deep,
I laid the little foundling,
And a ripple rocked it to sleep.
The dawn came up with blushes,
And shook from her gown the dew;
And I heard the song of the skylark,
As into the clouds he flew.
But the heart dreamed on in the lily
And I went at the close of day,
And found that my little treasure
Was chilled by the foam and spray.
So I warmed it upon my bosom,
Then cradled it back on the wave;
But I feared that the lily’s offspring
Was doomed to a watery grave.
So I watched till the daylight vanished
Through the sunset’s purple bars,
Till the night climbed over the willows,
And lit up the moon and stars.
I thought I heard your footstep,
And low in the reeds and grass
I crouched, that there, unnoticed,
I might behold you pass.
You came in your regal beauty,
And, bright as the weird fire flies
That illumined the waving rushes,
I saw your glorious eyes.
You kneeled on the mossy margin—
I counted the lilies there;
Two buds and a creamy blossom
Were fastened in your hair.
Another was drawn from the water,
And, pushing the reeds apart,
I saw ’twas the very lily
Wherein I had hidden the heart.
You pinned it low down on your bodice,
Half hidden it lay in the lace,
And you passed by—“a two-fold existence,”
A new light enriching your face.
And though I am absent and distant,
Methinks I can still hear the tone
Of a heart that, with happy emotion,
Is beating, aye! close to your own.