The World Well Lost


THAT year? Yes, doubtless I remember still,–
Though why take count of every wind that blows!
‘T was plain, men said, that Fortune used me ill
That year,–the self-same year I met with Rose.

Crops failed; wealth took a flight; house, treasure, land,
Slipped from my hold–thus plenty comes and goes.
One friend I had, but he too loosed his hand
(Or was it I?) the year I met with Rose.

There was a war, I think; some rumor, too,
Of famine, pestilence, fire, deluge, snows;
Things went awry. My rivals, straight in view,
Throve, spite of all; but I,–I met with Rose.

That year my white-faced Alma pined and died:
Some trouble vexed her quiet heart,–who knows?
Not I, who scarcely missed her from my side,
Or aught else gone, the year I met with Rose.

Was there no more? Yes, that year life began:
All life before a dream, false joys, light woes,–
All after-life compressed within the span
Of that one year,–the year I met with Rose!

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