I stand in the blaze of the candle rays,
    While my merry maidens three
Arrange each tress, and loop my dress,
    And render me fair to see.
But oh! for the eyes that never again
    Will smile like the stars on me.

I sweep down the stair, a bride most fair,
    And some one takes my hand.
I am numb and cold, but the lie is told,
    I smile and my lord is bland.
But oh! for a sight of my rover wild,
    Who wanders abroad in the land.

I am queen of the ball and the festal hall;
    I have beauty and youth and gold,
Men bow at the shrine of this lord of mine--
    Lord of his sums untold.
But oh! to be off in the wilds to-night
    With my lover brave and bold.

I dream a dream while the candles gleam,
    While the dancers merrily glide.
Neath the evening star I am speeding far,
    Oh! a good steed do I ride;
And my heart beats high with hope and cheer,
    For my love is at my side.

We ride and sing, and the echoes ring
    With our voices blithe and free,
We have no wealth but our love and health,
    And our cot on the wide green lea;
But I love my love with a mighty love,
    And I know that he loves me.

We ride away in the dying day,
    We ride till we reach the spot
Where all alone in the wilds unknown
    We find our lonely cot.
And I have no wish in the whole wide world,
    And I know that my love has not.

With a dreary moan the viols groan,
    And the dancers pause for breath,
And my lord says, 'Dear, you are ill, I fear,
    You are paler than your wreath.'
O God! O God! to be out in the night,
    Riding with love or death.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

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