From Dusk To Dawn

It was just at the close of a summer day,
When the fair, young moon in the east was up,
And falling, as falls the peace of God,
The dew dropped balm in the wild-flower's cup.

And soft south winds touched the weary brow
Of a woman who leaned on a cottage gate
And lingered to catch the low, sweet call
Of a late bird singing home to his mate.

From within she heard the household talk,
As if each to other were true and dear,
And after her, down the lonesome street,
Followed the sound of mirthful cheer.

They were blest, she knew, in their homely peace,—
A sad smile trembled about her mouth,—
“I am glad,” she said, “that for some poor souls
There be full wells, though the rest have drouth.”

She saw the children about the doors,
With fond young lips for mothers to kiss,
And from every home, as she passed along,
She caught some cadence of household bliss.

'Till she came, at last, to her own low roof,
Where she and a ghost dwelt face to face,
The ghost of her days of joy and youth,
The only guest in that lonesome place.

They talked together of all the past,—
She and the ghost, in the white moonlight,—
Till the pale guest's face like an angel's grew,
An old-time glory had made it bright.

When the dawn arose, they both were gone,—
On the bed a shape like the woman's lay,—
But she, with the ghost of the gay, glad past,
To some land of shadows had wandered away:

A land where she found the lost again,—
Where youth was waiting, and love was sweet,
And all the joys she had buried once
Sprang up like blossoms about her feet.
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