Dark before me lies my way:
Not a blossom by it springs;
Not a bird, on sunny wings,
Hovers round, and tunes his lay.
On it stretches, wild and lone:
Chill the wind is whistling there;
Gone the light that early shone;
Vanished long, the young and fair.

As with heaving heart I tread
Silent onward, heaven uncloses;
Hope descends on clouds of roses;
Instant all my gloom has fled.
Like an overswelling river,
Round her flows a stream of light:
Radiant pinions o'er it quiver;
Countless joys are there in flight.

But a moment—dark again,
Dark and dreary, shuts the sky:
Heavy clouds above me lie;
Round me clings an icy chain.
O, could but a single ray
Gleam from cottage lamp or star,
Then, along my lingering way,
I could seek my home afar.

Hark! what low and distant note
Softly through the gloom is stealing?
With it comes a voice of healing;
Sounds of heaven around me float.
Light, like vernal dawn, ascending,
O'er new-wakened beauty plays;
Flowers, with feathered foliage blending,
Tremble in the golden blaze.

Soon the soothing voice is still;
Broods the silence of the grave:
O'er me shades of cypress wave;
Darker fears my bosom fill.
Thus must ever be my doom:—
Light and song a moment shed;
Then a cloud of deeper gloom
Rolled, like torrent, o'er my head.

“Speed thee on!”—in sweetest tone,
Hope, the young and lovely ever,
Breathes,—the song shall leave me never,—
“Speed thee!—soon thy night has flown.
All the light, the love, the bliss,
E'er in holiest vision given,
In a fairer world than this,
Greet thee soon;—thy home is Heaven!”
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