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A short story by Laura E. Richards

At Long Last

Title:     At Long Last
Author: Laura E. Richards [More Titles by Richards]

"Heart-of-mine, are you come at last?"

"At long, long last, Beloved!"

"Was it so long?"

"Long as grief, cold as the stone above your grave, empty as the noonday sky!"

"Oh! how was it empty, when I left the cup brimming over for you? Heart-of-mine, whom met you by the way?"

"Only a man, crippled in the mire, cursing as he struggled. I shut my ears against his foul speech and passed on."

"Oh! if it were my brother, whom you should have helped! whom else?"

"Only a woman, bowed under a burden; my own was more than I could bear, and I let her be."

"Alas! if it were my sister, and in her pack the balm that should have healed you! Whom else again?"

"None else, save children: they cried about my path, but how could I stay for them while you waited?"

"Alas! if among the children were those I might not bear to you! And fare you well, Heart-of-mine, for I must be gone, and now the time is long indeed."

"Oh! whither, Beloved of my soul, from my arms that clasp yet cannot hold you?"

"Heart-of-mine, where but back to earth, to do the work you left undone, to gather up, with patience and with toil, the sheaves you left behind!"

[The end]
Laura E. Richards's short story: At Long Last