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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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Time's Cruelty

Published by Webmaster on 07/30/2003 (3129 reads)
Though we were half a world apart

Time's Cruelty

Though we were half a world apart
    Her image haunted me,
And so I sought my old sweetheart
    Across estranging sea;
Although since I bade her goodbye
    Were thirty years and three.

So to her cosy cottage door
    With quickened pulse I cam . . .
Lo! Everything was as before,
    The garden was the same;
With on the gate an ancient plate
    Enameled with her name.

"Miss Susan Grey, Mus. Bac." it read;
    So she still carried on
At teaching scales to make her bread,
    Though half a life had gone . . .
Then the door opened to my knock -
    God! How I had a shock!

Who was this frailing crone who peered
    From lavender and lace,
With wonder at my salty beard,
    With blankness at my face?
Yet on her finger was the ring
    I gave one fairy Spring.

So to my great surprise I said:
    "Does Missis brown live here?"
She gravely shook her silvered head:
"'Tis  not the street, I fear;"
Then having nothing more to say
    I bowed and went my way.

That's all . . . For women in life's wear
    Grow old before their time;
And she was bent and crushed with care,
    And I in lusty prime.
It hurt - my name I could not tell . . .
    Yet oh it spared her hell.


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