Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

Here you will find the Poem Close by of poet Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

Close by

So near at hand (our eyes o'erlooked its nearness 
In search of distant things) 
A dear dream lay--perchance to grow in dearness 
Had we but felt its wings 
Astir. The air our very breathing fanned 
It was so near at hand. 

Once, many days ago, we almost held it, 
The love we so desired; 
But our shut eyes saw not, and fate dispelled it 
Before our pulses fired 
To flame, and errant fortune bade us stand 
Hand almost touching hand. 

I sometimes think had we two been discerning, 
The by-path hid away 
From others' eyes had then revealed its turning 
To us, nor led astray 
Our footsteps, guiding us into love's land 
That lay so near at hand. 

So near at hand, dear heart, could we have known it! 
Throughout those dreamy hours, 
Had either loved, or loving had we shown it, 
Response had sure been ours; 
We did not know that heart could heart command, 
And love so near at hand! 

What then availed the red wine's subtle glisten? 
We passed it blindly by, 
And now what profit that we wait and listen 
Each for the other's heart beat? Ah! the cry 
Of love o'erlooked still lingers, you and I 
Sought heaven afar, we did not understand 
'Twas--once so near at hand.