A Winter's Dawn

After the long and dreary night
I wake to the blessed morning light,
And the white surprise of the snow.
Dreams have mocked me the dark hours through;
And something cried on the winds that blew
Across the country that dreamers know.

Back from the memory-haunted ways
We trod together in by-gone days,
Came a voice — was it yours, my dear? —
Oh, was it yours? Did I hear you plead,
As I heard you once, when I would not heed —
In that far-off land — in that by-gone year?

Wild is my heart, with its hopeless pain —
Oh, for one hour of the past again! —
One brief, bright hour — one least little touch!
Do you forgive me the words I said,
As you look back from the realm of the dead? —
Much is forgiven, when one loves much.

Grief makes wise; for I knew not then,
While you were alive in the world of men,
How the heart of my heart would starve and die.

When you should be gone, beyond my reach,
Where the death-tide breaks on a ghostly beach,
And spirits bereft on the night wind cry.

Spent and done is the lonesome night,
And the sun of the morning is strong and bright —
The sun is bright and the sky is clear —
Yet better the dark, and the winds that blow
Across the country that dreamers know,
And the voice that calls from a by-gone year.
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