A Parable

I LONGED for rest, and some one spoke me fair,
And proffered goodly rooms wherein to dwell,
Hung round with tapestries, and garnished well,
That I might take mine ease and pleasure there;
And there I sought a refuge from despair,
A joy that should my life's long gloom dispel;
But ominously through those halls there fell
Strange sounds, as of old music in the air.

As day went down, the music grew apace,
And in the moonlight saw I, white and cold,
A presence radiant in the radiant space,
With smiling lips that never had grown old;
And then I knew the secret none had told,
And shivered there, an alien in that place.
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