Her Presence

I LONG in vain by day, but when the night
With all its jewels stars the waiting sky,
And vagrant fireflies like stray souls flit by,
She seeks me in the tender waning light,
And sits beside me there, a Presence white;—
Her eyes yearn for me, and her dear lips sigh,
But if to clasp her cold soft hands I try
The shadows deepen, and she fades from sight.

O lost and dear!—by what strange, devious way
Does she escape? for I, too, fain would flee
From all the hollow pageantry of life,
And with her through immortal meadows stray.
The free winds mock my quest, stars laugh to see,
And I wait helpless till Death end the strife.
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