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WHEN marjoram dies, in winds that blow,
And your wheel begins its humming,
I feel that my dreams are coming
Of the ladies of long ago.


Your fingers fly faster and faster,
The close-reeled spindles thinning;
Sister, what are you spinning,
While you sing of joy and disaster?


Is it shrouds for your love-dreams dead,
Dead when they saw all the flowers
That scented the fugitive hours
Die on the garden bed?


When I speak of these your sorrows,
Your pale hand opens and closes,
Your hand that blessed the roses
In our love-days without to-morrows.


The leaves of the birch and the lime
Are on the water falling,
The autumn wind is bawling,
And the valley is frosted with rime.


Undo--it is time--your tresses
Fairer than the hemp you spin:
The shadow on our fingers thin
Our murmured vows now blesses.


Come to me, dreaming as I am
Of those old castled ladies,
Come when thy light wheel stayed is,
O my sister of the marjoram.