Spread warmly forth, and seem to melt

Its slow way through the deadening night. She hears a woman's voice within,

Singing sweet words her childhood knew, And

years of misery and sin Furl off, and leave her heaven blue.

Her freezing heart, like one who sinks

Outwearied in the drifting snow,
Drowses to deadly sleep and thinks

No longer of its hopeless woe:
Old fields, and clear blue summer days,

Old meadows, green with grass and trees, That shimmer through the trembling haze

And whiten in the western breeze,

Old faces,—all the friendly past

Rises within her heart again,
And sunshine from her childhood cast

Makes summer of the icy rain.
Enhaloed by a mild, warm glow,

From all humanity apart,
She hears old footsteps wandering slow

Through the lone chambers of her heart.

Outside the porch before the door,

Her cheek upon the cold, hard stone, She lies, no longer foul and poor,

No longer dreary and alone. Next morning something heavily

Against the opening door did weigh, And there, from sin and sorrow free,

A woman on the threshold lay.

A smile upon the wan lips told

That she had found a calm release,
And that, from out the want and cold,

had borne her soul in peace.

For, whom the heart of man shuts out,

Sometimes the heart of God takes in, And fences them all round about

With silence mid the world's loud din;

And one of his great charities

Is Music, and it doth not scorn To close the lids



eyes Of the polluted and forlorn ;

Far was she from her childhood's home,

Farther in guilt had wandered thence, Yet thither it had bid her come To die in maiden innocence.



The moon shines white and silent

On the mist, which, like a tide Of some enchanted ocean,

O’er the wide marsh doth glide, Spreading its ghost-like billows

Silently far and wide.

A vague and starry magic

Makes all things mysteries, And lures the earth's dumb spirit

Up to the longing skies,— I seem to hear dim whispers,

And tremulous replies.

The fireflies o'er the meadow

In pulses come and go; The elm-trees' heavy shadow

Weighs on the grass below; And faintly from the distance

The dreaming cock doth crow.

All things look strange and mystic,

The very bushes swell And take wild shapes and motions,

As if beneath a spell,They seem not the same lilacs

From childhood known so well.

The snow of deepest silence

O’er everything doth fall,

So beautiful and quiet,

And yet so like a pall, —
As if all life were ended,

And rest were come to all.

O, wild and wondrous midnight,

There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body

Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses

of immortality! 1842.


God! do not let my loved-one die,

But rather wait until the time
That I am grown in purity

Enough to enter thy pure clime,
Then take me, I will gladly go;
So that my love remain below!
0, let her stay! She is by birth

What I through death must learn to be,
We need her more on our poor earth,

Than thou canst need in heaven with thee: She hath her wings already, I Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly. Then, God, take me! We shall be near,

More near than ever, each to each:
Her angel ears will find more clear

My heavenly than my earthly speech;
And still, as I draw nigh to thee,
Her soul and mine shall closer be.

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