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mmer fall the shadows, mistier grows the O the dark hours when I knelt by your grave, air,

Calling upon you to love and to save,w the thick clouds gather, darkening here Pleading in vain for a sign or word and there.

Only to tell me you listen'd and heard, — From their heavy fringes pour their drops Only to say you remember'd and knew amain;

How all my soul was in anguish for you ; Still the bird is singing, singing in the Bitter, despairing, the tears that I shed, rain.

Darling, O darling, because you were dead ! thou hopeful singer, whom my faith per

O the black days of your absence, my own! ceives

( to be left in the wide world alone! To a dove transfigured bringing olive-leaves,

-Long, with our little one clasp'd to my breast; Olive-leaves of promise, types of joy to be; Wander'd I, seeking for refuge and rest; How, in doubt and trial, learns my heart of Yet all the world was so careless and cold, thee!

Vainly I sought for a sheltering fold ;

There was no roof and no home for my head, Cheerful summer prophet! listening to thy Darling, O darling, because you were dead !

song, How my-fainting spirit groweth glad and

Yet, in the midst of the darkness and pain, strong.

Darling, I knew I should find you again! · Let the black clouds gather, let the sun

· Knew, as the roses know, under the snow, shine wane,

How the next summer will set them aglow; If I may but join thee singing in the rain !

So did I always, the dreary days through,
Elizabeth Akers.

Keep my heart single and sacred to you,
As on the beautiful day we were wed,
Darling, O darling, although you were dead !
O the great joy of awaking, to know

I did but dream all that torturing woe!
1942.-A DREAM.

O the delight, that my searching can trace

Nothing of coldness or change in your face ! Back again, darling ? O day of delight!

Still is your forehead unfurrow'd and fair; How I have long's for you, morning and None of the gold is lost out of your hair, night!

None of the light from your dear eyes has Watch'd for you, pined for you, all the day

fledthrough,

Darling, O how could I dream you were dead ? Craving no boon and no blessing but you, Pray'd for you, pled for you, sought you in Now you are here, you will always remain, vain,

Never, O never to leave me again! Striving for ever to find you again,

How it has vanish'd, the anguish of years ! Counting all anguish as naught, if I might Vanish'd! nay, these are not sorrowful tears,– Clasp you again as I clasp you to-night! Happiness only my cheek has impearld,

There is no grieving for me in the world ; 'O, I have sorrow'd and suffer'd so much Dark clouds may threaten, but I have no fear, Since I last answer'd your lips' loving touch, - Darling, O darling, because you are here ! Through the night-watches, in daylight's

Elizabeth Akers. broad beams, Anguish'd by visions and tortured by dreams,

1943.-KISSES. Dreams so replete with bewildering pain,

The kiss of friendship, kind and calm, Still it is throbbing in heart and in brain :

May fall upon the brow like balm ; O, for I dream'd, -keep me close to your side,

A deeper tenderness may speak Darling, 0 darling !—I dream'd you had died !

In precious pledges on the cheek;

Thrice dear may be, when young lips meet, Dream'd that I stood by your pillow, and Love's dewy pressure, close and sweet ;heard

But more than all the rest I prize From your pale lips love's last half-utter'd The faithful lips that kiss my eyes.

word; And by the light of the May-morning skies Smile, lady, smile, when courtly lips Watch'd your face whiten, and saw your dear Touch reverently your finger-tips ; eyes

Blush, happy maiden, when you feel Gazing far into the Wonderful Land ;

The lips which press love's glowing seal; Felt your fond fingers grow cold in my But as the slow years darklier roll,

Grown wiser, the experienced soul “Darling,” you whisper'd, “My darling!” Will own as dearer lar than they

The lips which kiss the tears away! Faintly, so faintly, and then you were dead!

Elizabeth Akers.

hand ;

you said

Clasp'd to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my fa
Never hereafter to wake or to weep ; —
Rock me to sleep, mother,-rock me to slee

Elizabeth Aka

1944.-ROCK ME TO SLEEP. Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your

flight, Make me a child again just for to-night! Mother, come back from the echoless shore, Take me again to your heart as of yore ; Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, Smooth the few silver threads out of my

hair; Over my slumbers your loving watch keep ;Rock me to sleep, mother, -rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, 0 tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,-
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,-
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of Ainging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;-
Rock me to sleep, mother,-rock me to sleep!

1945.-LOST. The word has come ;-go forth An outcast and a blot upon the earth; Lo, the fierce angel, with his sword of flame

And brow of bitter blame,
Stands at the portal, and commands thea

hark !
“Go forth into the dark,
The blind and pitilegs dark,

Perdita !"
Go forth into the storm,
Wrap the rongh sackcloth round thy delica

form,

Since torn for ever thence
Are the fair garments of thine innocence,
Which not by prayer, nor penance, nor med

pain,
Can be made white again,

Perdita!
Nay, it is vain to plead, -
There is no hand to help, no ear to heed,

Not even his, whose art
Did win and cast aside thy credulous heart,
Who from thy forehead gather'd ruthlessly
The luminous lilies of white Purity,

And planted there instead Shame's heavy blossoms, broad and scarlet

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossom'd and faded, our faces between :
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep ;-
Rock me to sleep, mother, -rock me to sleep !

Ovor my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone ;
No other worship abides and endures, -
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours :
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids

creep ;Rock me to sleep, mother, -rock me to sleep!

red,

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with

gold, Fall on your shoulders again as of old ; Let it drop over my forehead to-night, Shading my faint eyes away from the light; For with its sunny-edged shadows once more Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore ; Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep ;Rock me to sleep, mother,-rock me to sleep!

Perdita! Whom thou wouldst die to please ; Whom thou hast follow'd on thy bleeding

knees

Through wrong and woe and strife,
To kiss his footsteps in the dust of life, -

Pleading with tears the while
For the great blessing of a word or smile,

As starvelings plead for bread, To those, who, taunting, fling a stone instead,

Perdita! Lift not thy pleading eyes To the calm scorn of the unpitying skies,

Hide thy dishonour'd brow,Sweet Mercy's smile is not for each as thon, Perdita!

Elizabeth Akers.

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listen'd your lullaby song :
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.

WYMAN AND SONS, PRINTERS, GREAT QUEEN STREET, LONDON, W.C.

---eart, issly

carlet

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