878. An Upper Chamber

Frances Bannerman.

I CAME into the City and none knew me;
  None came forth, none shouted 'He is here!
Not a hand with laurel would bestrew me,
  All the way by which I drew anear--
  Night my banner, and my herald Fear.

But I knew where one so long had waited
  In the low room at the stairway's height,
Trembling lest my foot should be belated,
  Singing, sighing for the long hours' flight
  Towards the moment of our dear delight.

I came into the City when you hail'd me
  Saviour, and again your chosen Lord:--
Not one guessing what it was that fail'd me,
  While along the way as they adored
  Thousands, thousands, shouted in accord.

But through all the joy I knew--I only--
  How the hostel of my heart lay bare and cold,
Silent of its music, and how lonely!
  Never, though you crown me with your gold,
  Shall I find that little chamber as of old!

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition