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Its path; and now she spoke as when
The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curled moon Was like a little feather

Fluttering far down the gulf; and now

She spoke through the still weather. Her voice was like the voice the stars Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song, Strove not her accents there,

Fain to be hearkened? When those bells
Possessed the mid-day air,
Strove not her steps to reach my side
Down all the echoing stair?)

"I wish that he were come to me, For he will come," she said.

"Have I not prayed in Heaven?-on earth, Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd?

Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?

"When round his head the aureole clings, And he is clothed in white,

I'll take his hand and go with him
To the deep wells of light;

As unto a stream we will step down,
And bathe there in God's sight.

"We two will stand beside that shrine,
Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirred continually
With prayer sent up to God;

And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud.

"We two will lie i' the shadow of

That living mystic tree

Within whose secret growth the Dove
Is sometimes felt to be,

While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His Name audibly.

"And I myself will teach to him, I myself, lying so,

The songs I sing here; which his voice
Shall pause in, hushed and slow,
And find some knowledge at each pause,
Or some new thing to know."

(Alas! we two, we two, thou say'st! Yea, one wast thou with me

That once of old. But shall God lift

To endless unity

The soul whose likeness with thy soul
Was but its love for thee?)

"We two," she said, "will seek the groves Where the lady Mary is,

With her five handmaidens, whose names
Are five sweet symphonies,
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret and Rosalys.

"Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;

Into the fine cloth white like flame
Weaving the golden thread,

To fashion the birth-robes for them
Who are just born, being dead.

"He shall fear, haply, and be dumb: Then will I lay my cheek

To his, and tell about our love,
Not once abashed or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve
My pride, and let me speak.

"Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the clear-ranged unnumbered heads.
Bowed with their aureoles:

And angels meeting us shall sing
To their citherns and citoles.

"There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me:—
Only to live as once on earth
With Love, only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now
Together, I and he.”

She gazed and listened and then said, Less sad of speech than mild,"All this is when he comes." She ceased.

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The light thrilled towards her, fill'd
With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes prayed, and she smil'd.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along

The golden barriers,

And laid her face between her hands,
And wept. (I heard her tears.)

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THE PORTRAIT.

Gedichtet "very little later than 'The Bl. D.'" (1847). Memoir pg. 107.]

THIS is her picture as she was:

It seems a thing to wonder on,
As though mine image in the glass
Should tarry when myself am gone.

I

gaze until she seems to stir,--
Until mine eyes almost aver

That now, even now, the sweet lips part
To breathe the words of the sweet heart :-
And yet the earth is over her.

Alas! even such the thin-drawn ray

That makes the prison-depths more rude,--
The drip of water night and day
Giving a tongue to solitude.

Yet only this, of love's whole prize,
Remains; save what in mournful guise

Takes counsel with my soul alone,-
Save what is secret and unknown,
Below the earth, above the skies.

In painting her I shrined her face

'Mid mystic trees, where light falls in
Hardly at all; a covert place

Where you might think to find a din
Of doubtful talk, and a live flame.
Wandering, and many a shape whose name
Not itself knoweth, and old dew,
And your own footsteps meeting you,
And all things going as they came.

A deep dim wood; and there she stands.
As in that wood that day: for so

Was the still movement of her hands
And such the pure line's gracious flow.
And passing fair the type must seem,
Unknown the presence and the dream.

'Tis she: though of herself, alas! Less than her shadow on the grass Or than her image in the stream.

That day we met there, I and she
One with the other all alone;
And we were blithe; yet memory

Saddens those hours, as when the moon
Looks upon daylight. And with her
I stooped to drink the spring-water,

Athirst where other waters sprang:
And where the echo is, she sang,-
My soul another echo there.

But when that hour my soul won strength
For words whose silence wastes and kills,
Dull raindrops smote us, and at length

Thundered the heat within the hills.
That eve I spoke those words again
Beside the pelted window-pane;

And there she hearkened what I said,
With under-glances that surveyed
The empty pastures blind with rain.

Next day the memories of these things,
Like leaves through which a bird has flown,
Still vibrated with Love's warm wings;

Till I must make them all my own And paint this picture. So, 'twixt ease Of talk and sweet long silences,

She stood among the plants in bloom

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