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And her voice, it murmurs lowly,
As a silver stream may run,
And her smile, it seems half holy,
As if drawn from thoughts more far
And if any poet knew her,
He would sing of her with falls
And if any painter drew her,
He would paint her unaware
And if reader read the poem,
He would whisper, “ You have done a
And a dreamer (did you show him
That same picture) would exclaim “ ’T is my angel, with a name !”
And a stranger — when he sees her
In the street even smileth stilly,
And all voices that address her,
Soften, sleeken every word,
And all fancies yearn to cover
The hard earth whereon she passes,
And all hearts do pray, “ God love her!”
Ay, and certes, in good sooth,
HAVE a smiling face, she said,
I have a jest for all I meet; I have a garland for my head,
And all its flowers are sweet, And so you call me gay, she said.
Grief taught to me this smile, she said,
And Wrong did teach this jesting bold; These flowers were plucked from garden-bed
While a death-chime was tolled -
Behind no prison-grate, she said,
Which slurs the sunshine half a mile, Are captives so uncomforted,
As souls behind a smile. God's pity let us pray, she said.
I know my face is bright, she said.
Such brightness dying suns diffuse !
The sign of what I lose,
If I dared leave this smile, she said,
And take a moan upon my mouth,
And let my tears run smooth,
And since that must not be, she said,
I fain your bitter world would leave. How calmly, calmly, smile the dead,
Who do not, therefore, grieve ! The
yea of Heaven is yea, she said.
But in your bitter world, she said,
Face-joy 's a costly mask to wear,
And rounded to despair.
A CHILD'S THOUGHT OF GOD.
THEY say that God lives very high !
look above the pines, You cannot see our God. And why?
And, if you dig down in the mines,
You never see Him in the gold,
God is so good, He wears a fold
Of Heaven and earth across His face, Like secrets kept, for love, untold.
But still I feel that His embrace
Slides down, by thrills, through all things made, Through sight and sound of every place,
As if my tender mother laid
shut lids, her kisses' pressure, Half-waking me at night; and said,
“Who kissed you through the dark, dear guesser?"
THE LADY'S “ YES."
THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD.
WHAT'S the best thing in the world ?
June-rose, by May dew impearled ;
THE LADY'S “ YES."
“YES!” I answered you last night;
“No!” this morning, Sir, I say: Colors, seen by candle-light,
Will not look the same by day.
When the viols played their best,
Lamps above, and laughs below, Love me sounded like a jest,
Fit for Yes or fit for No.
Call me false, or call me free
Vow, whatever light may shine, No man on your face shall see Any grief for change on mine.