Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Poems by Elizabeth H. Whittier
Night and Death
THE STORM-WIND is howling
  Through old pines afar;
The drear night is falling
  Without moon or star.
The roused sea is lashing        5
  The bold shore behind,
And the moan of its ebbing
  Keeps time with the wind.
On, on through the darkness,
  A spectre, I pass        10
Where, like moaning of broken hearts,
  Surges the grass!
I see her lone head-stone,—
  ’T is white as a shroud;
Like a pall, hangs above it        15
  The low drooping cloud.
Who speaks through the dark night
  And lull of the wind?
’T is the sound of the pine-leaves
  And sea-waves behind.        20
The dead girl is silent,—
  I stand by her now;
And her pulse beats no quicker,
  Nor crimsons her brow.
The small hand that trembled,        25
  When last in my own,
Lies patient and folded,
  And colder than stone.
Like the white blossoms falling
  To-night in the gale,        30
So she in her beauty
  Sank mournful and pale.
Yet I loved her! I utter
  Such words by her grave,
As I would not have spoken        35
  Her last breath to save.
Of her love the angels
  In heaven might tell,
While mine would be whispered
  With shudders in hell!        40
’T was well that the white ones
  Who bore her to bliss
Shut out from her new life
  The vision of this;
Else, sure as I stand here,        45
  And speak of my love,
She would leave for my darkness
  Her glory above.

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