The Widow

Grief now hath pacified her face;
Even hope might share so still a place.
Yet, if — in silence of her heart —
A memoried voice or footstep start,
Or a chance word of ecstasy
Cry through dim-cloistered memory,
Into her eyes her soul will steal
To gaze on the irrevocable —
As if death had not power to keep
One, who had loved her long, so long asleep.

Now all things lovely she looks on
Wear the mute aspect of oblivion;
And all things silent seem to be
Richer than any melody.
Her narrow hands, like birds that make
A nest for some old instinct's sake,
Have hollowed a refuge for her face —
A narrow and a darkened place —
Where, far from the world's light, she may
See clearer what is passed away:
And only little children know
Through what dark half-closed gates her smile may go.
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