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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sorrow
By Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894)
 
UPON my lips she laid her touch divine,
  And merry speech and careless laughter died;
She fixed her melancholy eyes on mine,
        And would not be denied.
 
I saw the West Wind loose his cloudlets white        5
  In flocks, careering through the April sky;
I could not sing, though joy was at its height,
        For she stood silent by.
 
I watched the lovely evening fade away;
  A mist was lightly drawn across the stars:        10
She broke my quiet dream,—I heard her say,
        “Behold your prison bars!
 
“Earth’s gladness shall not satisfy your soul;
  This beauty of the world in which you live,
The crowning grace that sanctifies the whole,—        15
        That, I alone can give.”
 
I heard, and shrank away from her afraid:
  But still she held me, and would still abide;
Youth’s bounding pulses slackened and obeyed,
        With slowly ebbing tide.        20
 
“Look thou beyond the evening star,” she said,
  “Beyond the changing splendors of the day;
Accept the pain, the weariness, the dread,—
        Accept, and bid me stay!”
 
I turned and clasped her close with sudden strength;        25
  And slowly, sweetly, I became aware
Within my arms God’s angel stood at length,
        White-robed and calm and fair.
 
And now I look beyond the evening star,
  Beyond the changing splendors of the day,—        30
Knowing the pain He sends more precious far,
        More beautiful than they.
 
 
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