A Ballade Of Old Loves





CAROLYN WELLS



Who is it stands on the polished stair,

A merry, laughing, winsome maid,

From the Christmas rose in her golden hair

To the high-heeled slippers of spangled suede

A glance, half daring and half afraid,

Gleams from her roguish eyes downcast;

Already the vision begins to fade--

'Tis only a ghost of a Christmas Past.



Who is it sits in that high-backed chair,

Quaintly in ruff and patch arrayed,

With a mockery gay of a stately air

As she rustles the folds of her old brocade,--

Merriest heart at the masquerade?

Ah, but the picture is passing fast

Back to the darkness from which it strayed--

'Tis only a ghost of a Christmas Past.



Who is it whirls in a ball-room's glare,

Her soft white hand on my shoulder laid,

Like a radiant lily, tall and fair,

While the violins in the corner played

The wailing strains of the Serenade?

Oh, lovely vision, too sweet to last--

E'en now my fancy it will evade--

'Tis only a ghost of a Christmas Past.



L'ENVOI



Rosamond! look not so dismayed,

All of my heart, dear love, thou hast

Jealous, beloved? Of a shade?--

'Tis only a ghost of a Christmas Past.





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