The Two Soldiers


Just at the corner of the wall
  We met -- yes, he and I --
Who had not faced in camp or hall
  Since we bade home good-bye,
And what once happened came back -- all --
  Out of those years gone by.

And that strange woman whom we knew
  And loved -- long dead and gone,
Whose poor half-perished residue,
  Tombless and trod, lay yon!
But at this moment to our view
  Rose like a phantom wan.

And in his fixed face I could see,
  Lit by a lurid shine,
The drama re-enact which she
  Had dyed incarnadine
For us, and more. And doubtless he
  Beheld it too in mine.

A start, as at one slightly known,
  And with an indifferent air
We passed, without a sign being shown
  That, as it real were,
A memory-acted scene had thrown
  Its tragic shadow there.



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