[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
" LIE there," I said, " my Sorrow ! lie thou
And I will drink the lissome air,
And see if yet the heavens have gained their blue."
Then rose my Sorrow as an aged man,
And stared, as such a one will stare,
A querulous doubt through tears that freshly ran ;
Wherefore I said :" Content ! thou shalt go too. "
So went we throughthe sunlit crocus-glade,
I and my Sorrow, casting shade
On all the innocent things that upward pree,
And coax for smiles : but, as I went, I bowed,
And whispered " Be no whit afraid!
He will pass sad and gentle as a cloud
It is my Sorrow leave him unto me
And every floweret in that happy place
Yearned up into the weary face
With pitying love, and held its golden breath,
Regardless seeming he, as though within
Was nothing apt for their sweet grace,
Nor any sense save such as is akin
To charnel glooms and emptiness of death.
Then sung a lusty bird, whose throat was clear
And strong with elemental cheer,
Till very heaven seemed lifted with the joy
Jet after jet tumultuous music burst
Fount-like, and filled the expanding sphere;
Whereat my soul was fain to slake its thirst,
Intent, and ravished with that blest employ.
The songster ceased articulate as a bell,
The rippling echoes fell and fell
Upon the shore of silence. Then I turned
To call upon my Sorrowhe was not;
But O, what splendour filled the dell I
There I there I O, there ! upon the very spot
Where he had been an awful glory burned.
It was as though the mouth of God had kissed
And purpled into amethyst
Wan lips, as though red-quickening ichor rills
Had flushed his heart : twas he no more, no more!
Twas she, my souls evangelist,
My rose, my love, and lovelier than before,
Dew-nurtured on the far Celestial hills.
" O love," I cried, " I come, I come to thee!
Stay ! stay !
" But softly, silently,
As pales the moon before the assault of day,
So, spectral-white against the brighter blue,
Faded my darling. But with me
Walks never more that shadow.
God is true,
And God was in that bird, believe it as ye may.