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O’er all things round, a full, strong, vivid light,
Too sorrowfully clear !—an under-tone
Was given to Nature's harp, for me alone
Whispering of grief.—Of grief ?- be strong, awake!
Hath not thy love been victory, O, my soul ?
Hath not its conflict won a voice to shake
Death's fastnesses ? -a magic to control
Worlds far removed ?-— from o'er the grave to thee
Love hath made answer; and thy tale should be
Sung like a lay of triumph!—Now return,
And take thy treasure from its bosom'd urn,
And lift it once to light!

In fear, in pain, I said I loved — but yet a heavenly strain Of sweetness floated down the tearful stream, A joy flash'd through the trouble of my dream! I knew myself beloved !- we breathed no vow, No mingling visions might our fate allow, As unto happy hearts; but still and deep, Like a rich jewel gleaming in a grave, Like golden sand in some dark river's wave, So did my soul that costly knowledge keep So jealously!-a thing o'er which to shed, When stars alone beheld the drooping head, Lone tears ! yet ofttimes burden'd with th' excess Of our strange nature's quivering happiness.

But, oh! sweet Friend! we dream not of love's might
Till Death has robed with soft and solemn light
The image we enshrine !- Before that hour,
We have but glimpses of the o'ermastering power

A SPIRIT'S RETURN.

17

Within us laid !—then doth the spirit-flame
With sword-like lightning rend its mortal frame;
The wings of that which pants to follow fast,
Shake their clay-bars, as with a prison'd blast,-
The sea is in our souls !

He died, he died, On whom my lone devotedness was cast ! I might not keep one vigil by his side, I, whose wrung heart watch'd with him to the last ! I might not once his fainting head sustain, Nor bathe his parch'd lips in the hour of pain, Nor say to him, "Farewell !"- He pass'd awayO! had my love been there, its conquering sway Had won him back from death!- but thus removed, Borne o'er the abyss no sounding-line hath proved, Join'd with the unknown, the viewless, he became Unto my thoughts another, yet the sameChanged-hallow'd-glorified !--and his low grave Seem'd a bright mournful altar---mine, all mine :Brother and Friend soon left me that sole shrine, The birthright of the faithful !-- their world's wave Soon swept them from its brink.-Oh! deem thou not That on the sad and consecrated spot My soul grew weak!—I tell thee that a power There kindled heart and lip!-a fiery shower My words were made; - a might was given to

prayer, And a strong grasp to passionate despair, And a dread triumph !—Know'st thou what I sought? For what high boon my struggling spirit wrought ?

- Communion with the dead !-I sent a cry
Through the veild empires of eternity,
A voice to cleave them! By the mournful truth,
By the lost promise of my blighted youth,
By the strong chain a mighty love can bind
On the beloved, the spell of mind o'er mind;
By words, which in themselves are magic high,
Arm'd, and inspired, and wing'd with agony;
By tears, which comfort not, but burn, and seem
To bear the heart's blood in their passion-stream;
I summond, I adjured !- with quicken'd sense,
With the keen vigil of a life intense,
I watch'd, an answer from the winds to wring,
I listen'd, if perchance the stream might bring
Token from worlds afar: I taught one sound
Unto a thousand echoes: one profound
Imploring accent to the tomb, the sky;
One prayer to night,-“ Awake, appear, reply !”

Hast thou been told that from the viewless bourne,
The dark way never hath allow'd return?
That all, which tears can move, with life is filed,
That earthly love is powerless on the dead?
Believe it not !- there is a large lone star,
Now burning o'er yon western hill afar,
And under its clear light there lies a spot,
Which well might utter forth-Believe it not!

I sat beneath that planet, - I had wept
My woe to stillness; every night-wind slept;
A hush was on the hills; the very streams
Went by like clouds, or noiseless founts in dreams,

A SPIRIT'S RETURN.

19

And the dark tree o'ershadowing me that hour,
Stood motionless, even as the grey church-tower
Whereon I gazed unconsciously :— there came
A low sound, like the tremour of a flame,
Or like the light quick shiver of a wing
Flitting through twilight woods, across the air ;
And I look'd up!-Oh! for strong words to bring
Conviction o'er thy thought !- Before me there,
He, the Departed, stood !- Ay, face to face-
So near, and yet how far!— his form, his mien,
Gave to remembrance back each burning trace
Within :-Yet something awfully serene,
Pure,--sculpture-like,-on the pale brow that wore
Of the once beating heart no token more;
And stillness on the lip-and o'er the hair
A gleam, that trembled through the breathless air;
And an unfathom'd calm, that seem'd to lie
In the grave sweetness of the illumined eye;
Told of the gulfs between our being set,
And, as that unsheathed spirit-glance I met,
Made my soul faint:- with fear?-Oh! not with

fear!
With the sick feeling that in his far sphere
My love could be as nothing !— But he spoke -
How shall I tell thee of the startling thrill
In that low voice, whose breezy tones could fill
My bosom's infinite?-O friend, I woke
Then first to heavenly life !-Soft, solemn, clear,
Breathed the mysterious accents on mine ear,
Yet strangely seem'd as if the while they rose
From depths of distance, o'er the wide repose

Of slumbering waters wasted, or the dells
Of mountains, hollow with sweet echo-cells;
But, as they murmur'd on, the mortal chill
Pass'd from me, like a mist before the morn,
And to that glorious intercourse upborne,
By slow degrees, a calm, divinely still,
Possess'd my frame:- I sought that lighted eye,-
From its intense and searching purity
I drank in soul ! -I question'd of the dead
Of the hush'd, starry shores their footsteps tread-
And I was answer'd :-if remembrance there,
With dreamy whispers fill the immortal air;
If Thought, here piled from many a jewel-heap,
Be treasure in that pensive land to keep;
If Love, o'ersweeping change, and blight, and blast,
Find there the music of his home at last;
I ask'd and I was answer'd ;- Full and high
Was that communion with eternity,
Too rich for aught so fleeting !-Like a knell
Swept o'er my sense its closing words,_"Farewell,
On earth we meet no more !”—and all was gone
The pale bright settled brow—the thrilling tone
The still and shining eye !-and never more
May twilight gloom or midnight hush restore
That radiant guest!—One full-fraught hour of Heaven,
To earthly passion's wild implorings given,
Was made my own—the ethereal fire hath shiver'd
The fragile censer in whose mould it quiver'd,
Brightly, consumingly!- What now is left ? -
A faded world, of glory's hues bereft,
A void, a chain !—I dwell 'midst throngs, apart,
In the cold silence of the stranger's heart;

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