One moment alone in the garden,
Under the August skies;
The moon had gone but the stars shone on, –
Shone like your beautiful eyes.
Away from the glitter and gaslight,
Alone in the garden there,
While the mirth of the throng, in laugh and song,
Floated out on the air.

You looked down through the starlight,
And I looked up at you;
And a feeling came that I could not name, –
Something starnge and new.
Friends of a few weeks only, –
Why should it give me pain
To know you would go in the morrow,
And would not come again?

Formal friends of a season.
What matter that we must part?
But under the skies, with a swift surprise,
Each read the other’s heart.
We did not speak, but your breath on my cheek
Was like a breeze of the south:
And your dark hair brushed my forehead
And your kiss fell on my mouth.

Some one was searching for me, –
Some one to say good-night;
And we went in from the garden,
Out of the sweet starlight,
Back to the glitter and music,
And we said ‘Good-bye’ in the hall,
When a dozen heard and echoed the word,
And then – well, that was all.

The river that rolls between us
Can never be crossed, I know,
For the waters are deep and the shores are steep,
And a maelstrom whirls below;
But I think we shall always remember,
Though we both may strive to forget,
How you looked in my eyes, ‘neath the August skies,
After the moon had set; –

How you kissed my lips in the garden,
And we stood in a trance of bliss,
And our hearts seemed speaking together
In that one thrilling kiss.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem In The Garden

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