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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,
No longer of its hopeless woe:
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,
Makes summer of the icy rain.
From all humanity apart,
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,
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, —
And rest were come to all.
O, wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
Almost like spirit be,
of immortality! 1842.
God! do not let my loved-one die,
But rather wait until the time
Enough to enter thy pure clime,
What I through death must learn to be,
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:
My heavenly than my earthly speech;