Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
In the Slant o’ the Sun
By Amelia Walstien Carpenter (b. 1840)
 
[Born in Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., 1840.]

THE HOMELY country scent of musk
  Was in the air that past her blew;
The sunflower seeds fell from their husk,
  Black moths and white about her flew;
  The gentlest life! O sweet and true,        5
  The sweetest soul earth ever knew
Left here, lone in the lonely dusk!
 
She pins her faded knitting sheath
  With wrinkled hands that tremble still;
Below her white hair’s crowning wreath        10
  Her aching eyes with slow tears fill;
  Slow gathered tears that drop until
They seem like other words that breathe
  The cry—“Lord! Lord! do thou thy will!”
 
Again she lifts the sacred book—        15
  She holds it to her aching eyes:
What stress was e’er that He forsook?
  “Lord! Lord!” the sufferer cries
  (The Lord that he denies—
  The Lord he crucifies).        20
Down from his cross He turns his look—
  “To-night—in Paradise!”
 
Still in the long slant of the sun
  The watcher keeps her lonely seat;
Farther the darkening shadows run        25
  And closer gather at her feet.
The day’s long toils cease, one by one—
  She hears the passing laborers greet;
  “Lord! Lord!” her hands in pleading meet—
  “Save her! and yet—Thy will be done!        30
 
“Lord! should she come to me once more,
  To-night,—come from her darkened way—
Yea, should she pause here at my door,
  Wouldst Thou not bid me bid her stay?
  (Lord—Lord—for this I pray)—        35
Shepherd, Thy word went long before,
  ‘I seek for them that stray
  Far from the fold away!’”
 
The moth above the sunflower wheels,
  The lingering light drops from the skies,        40
The village bell in music peals,
  While in the west the sunset dies.
But lo! what shape is this that steals
From out the dusk?—that comes and kneels
  And peers into the glazing eyes?        45
  Oh late! too late! Oh woful cries!
  O faithful soul! Oh true and wise!—
  “To-night!—to-night—in Paradise!”
 
 
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