Over the Roofs

by Sara Teasedale

I

Oh chimes set high on the sunny tower
   Ring on, ring on unendingly,
Make all the hours a single hour,
For when the dusk begins to flower,
   The man I love will come to me! . . .
But no, go slowly as you will,
   I should not bid you hasten so,
For while I wait for love to come,
Some other girl is standing dumb,
   Fearing her love will go.

II

Oh white steam over the roofs, blow high!
   Oh chimes in the tower ring clear and free !
Oh sun awake in the covered sky,
   For the man I love, loves me I . . .
Oh drifting steam disperse and die,
   Oh tower stand shrouded toward the south,—
Fate heard afar my happy cry,
   And laid her finger on my mouth.

III

The dusk was blue with blowing mist,
   The lights were spangles in a veil,
And from the clamor far below
   Floated faint music like a wail.
It voiced what I shall never speak,
   My heart was breaking all night long,
But when the dawn was hard and gray,
   My tears distilled into a song.

IV

I said, "I have shut my heart
   As one shuts an open door,
That Love may starve therein
   And trouble me no more."
But over the roofs there came
   The wet new wind of May,
And a tune blew up from the curb
   Where the street-pianos play.
My room was white with the sun
   And Love cried out in me,
"I am strong, I will break your heart
   Unless you set me free."