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To God at best, to Chance at worst,
I deemed thy garments, O my Hope, were grey,
So far I viewed thee. Now the space between
Is passed at length; and garmented in green Even as in days of yore thou stand’st to-day. Ah God! and but for lingering dull dismay,
On all that road our footsteps erst had been
Even thus commingled, and our shadows seen
No eyes but hers,-0 Love and Hope the same!
Lean close to me, for now the sinking sun
O hers thy voice and very hers thy name !
(Written during music.) Is it this sky's vast vault or ocean's sound
That is Lise's self and draws my lise from me,
And by instinct ineffable decree
Nay, is it Life or Death, thus thunder-crown'd,
That 'mid the tide of all emergency
Now notes my separate wave, and to what sea Its difficult eddies labour in the ground?
Oh! what is this that knows the road I came,
The listed shifted steeps and all the way ? -
Upon the devious coverts of dismay?
Mother of the Fair Delight,
Mind'st thou not (when June's heavy breath
As of a day to which all days
Ah! knew'st thou of the end, when first
Nay, but I think the whisper crept Like growth through childhood. Work and play, Things common to the course of day, Awed thee with meanings unfulfillid; And all through girlhood, something stillid Thy senses like the birth of light, When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at night Or washed thy garments in the stream ; To whose white bed had come the dream That He was thine and thou wast His Who feeds among the field-lilies.
O solemn shadow of the end
Mind'st thou not (when the twilight gone Lest darkness in the house of John) Between the naked window-bars That spacious vigil of the stars ? For thou, a watcher even as they, Wouldst rise from where throughout the diy Thou wroughtest raiment for His poor; And, finding the fixed terms endure Of day and night which never brought Sounds of His coming chariot, Wouldst lift through cloud-waste unexplor'd Those eyes which said, 'How long, O Lord ?' Then that disciple whom He loved, Well heeding, haply would be moved To ask thy blessing in His name ; And that one thought in both, the same Though silent, then would clasp ye round To weep together,-tears long bound, Sick tears of patience, dumb and slow. Yet, ‘Surely I come quickly, -50 He said, from life and death gone home. Amen : even so, Lord Jesus, come!
But oh! what human tongue can speaks
And His right hand embracing thee?-
Soul, is it Faith, or Love, or Hope, That lets me see her standing up Where the light of the Throne is bright ? Unto the left, unto the right, The cherubim, arrayed, conjoint, Float inward to a golden point, And from between the seraphim The glory issues for a hymn. O Mary Mother, be not loth To listen,—thou whom the stars clothe, Who seëst and mayst not be seen! Hear us at last, O Mary Queen ! Into our shadow bend thy face, Bowing thee from the secret place, O Mary Virgin, full of grace!