The Parting

THE Parting .

I GO —the night-lamp flickers
 In crystal socket deep,
As throbbing to the murmurs
 Of thy short, restless sleep.

On thy pale brow the shadows
 Of the closed curtains fall,
I watch the long dark figures
 They cast on the cold wall.

And I can see thee heaving
 The long white counterpane,—
When shall I keep the night-watch
 By thy sick couch again?

I go—the cold bright morning
 Breaks up in the grey sky,
On wood, and stream, and valley,
 And those green hills that lie

All to the blue sea looking;
 And through the breaking dark
I hear the pigeon cooing,
 The first song of the lark.

O time, O youth, O gladness,
 How swiftly have ye sped
Since we have watch'd the sunsets
 From yon green mountain head!

Where is the step that bounded
 So lightly from the ground,
The ring of that sweet laughter
 That hath no fellow sound;

The large dark eye, all radiant
 With glad and glorious thought?
O suffering, O sorrow,
 How surely have ye wrought!

Now wasted form, and languor,
 And lowly-breathèd word,
And pain, and unrest weary,
 And pale lips roughly stirr'd.

Hush, false and vain repining,
 Nor drop hot tears of mine!
Doth man not cut the diamond
 That it may brighter shine?

Do we not cast the fine gold
 Into the cleansing fire?
Is not the child most cherish'd
 Still chasten'd of its sire?

And saints wear crowns of glory
 Through Heaven's eternal years,
With brightest rays around them—
 All framed from earthly tears.

Hush! there are unseen watchers
 Round the blest sufferer now,
And angel-hands, all gently,
 Smooth down her pale high brow!

Hush! He is here in presence
 Who knew all pain and care,
Nor ever layeth on His own
 A cross they cannot bear!

Hush! for a dear hand beckons
 Her soul to the bright shore,
Like Summer hasting after
 The young Spring gone before!

I go—O parting sorrow,
 O anguish of vain tears,
Why will ye mock me—bringing
 The shades of our past years?

Twin spirit to my spirit,
 When thou hast left my side
What other love shall comfort?
 What other voice shall guide?

Hush! in our high communion
 There is no broken link,
And lights gleam through the shadows
 On the dark river's brink!

One hope, one faith, one heaven;
 These years how fast they speed;
There is no endless parting,
 No, never , in our creed.
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