My Nook

By Nora May French

Oh, half way up the hill it was, where one might
            sit leaf-hidden,
And stare across the canyoned depths to distant
            miles of blue;
Upon the little path to it no foot might step unbidden.
  It was my nook, and mine alone, and not another
            knew.
And when my doll was sawdust, or my little hopes
            were fated,
  Or all my world was shaken by a little idol"s fall,
Up to my dear retreat I"d climb, with grief or anger
            weighted,
  And, hands behind fern-pillowed head, straightway
            forget it all.
With tears yet damp upon my cheeks I"d fall to
            castle-building
  (The careless linnets fluttered near a little maid
            so still),
And all the gorgeous tints I knew, and all the
            wealth of gilding,
  Were lavished on the future that I summoned
            there at will.
"When one is small one finds it good to run and cry
            alone,
But I shall laugh to think that once I found my
            world so hollow—
  I shall not need this little nook," I thought,
            "when I am grown."
Now heart whose voice I drown by day to hear in
            hours of waking,
  Now eyes whose tears must burn the more because
            they may not flow,
From sight of face or sound of speech if I could
            bear your aching,
  And bury it deep-hidden in the ferns of long ago!
But oh! The pensive little ghost among her visions
            sitting
  Would view her weeping Future with so piteous
            surprise!
No, I must leave her in her nook to dream her
            dreams unwitting—
  I could not take my trouble there, I could not
            meet her eyes.

Footnote: "My Nook" was written at age 16.