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Ay, pale and silent maiden,
Cold as thou liest there,
That ever drew the air,
And yet so gently kind,
A breath of summer wind.
Into the eternal shadow
That girds our life around, Into the infinite silence
Wherewith Death's shore is bound, Thou hast gone forth, beloved !
And I were mean to weep, That thou hast left Life's shallows,
And dost possess the Deep.
Thou liest low and silent,
Thy heart is cold and still, Thine eyes are shut forever,
And Death hath had his will ; He loved and would have taken,
I loved and would have kept, We strove,—and he was stronger,
And I have never wept. Let him possess thy body,
Thy soul is still with me, More sunny and more gladsome
Than it was wont to be:
Thy body was a fetter
That bound me to the flesh, Thank God that it is broken,
And now I live afresh !
Now I can see thee clearly ;
The dusky cloud of clay, That hid thy starry spirit,
Is rent and blown away : To earth I give thy body,
Thy spirit to the sky, I saw its bright wings growing,
And knew that thou must fly.
Now I can love thee truly,
For nothing comes between The senses and the spirit,
The seen and the unseen; Lifts the eternal shadow,
The silence bursts apart, And the soul's boundless future
Is present in my heart.
Worn and footsore was the Prophet,
When he gained the holy hill; “ God has left the earth,” he murmured,
“ Here his presence lingers still. “ God of all the olden prophets,
Wilt thou speak with men no more? Have I not as truly served thee,
As thy chosen ones of yore ? “ Hear me, guider of my
fathers, Lo! a humble heart is mine; By thy mercy I beseech thee, Grant thy servant but a sign !”
Bowing then his head, he listened
For an answer to his prayer;
Not a murmur stirred the air :
But the tuft of moss before him
Opened while he waited yet,
Sprang a tender violet.
“God! I thank thee,” said the Prophet;
o Hard of heart and blind was I, Looking to the holy mountain
For the gift of prophecy.
“ Still thou speakest with thy children
Freely as in eld sublime ; Humbleness, and love, and patience,
Still give empire over time.
“ Had I trusted in my nature,
And had faith in lowly things, Thou thyself wouldst then have sought me,
And set free my spirit's wings..
“ But I looked for signs and wonders,
That o'er men should give me sway, Thirsting to be more than mortal,
I was even less than clay.
5 Ere I entered on my journey,
As I girt my loins to start, Ran to me my little daughter,
The beloved of my heart;
“ In her hand she held a flower,
Like to this as like may be, Which, beside my very threshold,
She had plucked and brought to me.”
A GLANCE BEHIND THE CURTAIN.
WE see but half the causes of our deeds,
and world-wide purposes.
But whence came that ray ?