The Charm of the Rue
by: Florence Peacock
Why do you come to disturb me?
I laid you away to rest,
With red rose-leaves for your pillow,
And rosemary over your breast,
There was lavender all around you,
I knew that your grave was deep;
There were king-cups growing above you,
And yet you have stirr’d in your sleep.
I promised that you should have flowers;
And I did not forget the rue;
But sometimes I think you forgot, dear,
All the old-world spells that I knew.
You said that I must not remember,
But bury you out of my sight;
I might strew the red rose-leaves upon you,
And then must forget you quite.
But I knew you would one day waken,
If only the rue was there;
That the past it would all come back, dear
Some day when the skies were fair.
You know that you bade me forget, dear,
All the love that you told long ago;
To bury it deep, nor regret you,
It had passed with the last year’s snow.
But for years I hoped you would waken,
For I knew that the rue it was there;
But I deem’d that the charm it was broken,
No answer there came to my prayer.
And ah, but you slept so soundly,
‘Mid roses, rosemary, and rue,
That I have had time to remember
It was I, not you, that were true.
But the charm it has worked, and you waken;
The spell of the rue holds you fast;
The grave has no power to keep you,
Your love it is mine at last.
And, dear, you should not reproach me,
Remember that I was true;
Red roses and rosemary wither,
You took no heed of the rue.
But yet for the sake of the past, dear,
And the days e’er you proved untrue,
I would I had left you to sleep, dear,
With never the charm of the rue.