Only a Dream
METHOUGHT I saw thee yesternight Sit by me in the olden guise, The white robes and the pain foregone, Weaving instead of amaranth crown A web of mortal dyes. I cried, 'Where hast thou been so long?' (The mild eyes turned and mutely smiled 'Why dwellest thou in far-off lands? What is that web within thy hands?' --'I work for thee, my child.' I clasped thee in my arms and wept; I kissed thee oft with passion wild: I poured fond questions, tender blame; Still thy sole answer was the same,-- 'I work for thee, my child.' 'Come and walk with me as of old.' Then camest thou, silent as before; We passed along that churchyard way We used to tread each Sabbath day, Till one trod earth no more. I felt thy hand upon my arm, Beside me thy meek face I saw, Yet through the sweet familiar grace A something spiritual could trace That left a nameless awe. Trembling I said, 'Long years have passed Since thou wert from my side beguiled; Now thou'rt returned and all shall be As was before.'--Half-pensively Thou answered'st--'Nay, my child.' I pleaded sore: 'Hadst thou forgot The love wherewith we loved of old,-- The long sweet days of converse blest, The nights of slumber on thy breast,-- Wert thou to me grown cold?' There beamed on me those eyes of heaven That wept no more, but ever smiled; 'Love only is love in that Home Where I abide--where, till thou come, I work for thee, my child.' If from my sight thou passedst then, Or if my sobs the dream exiled, I know not: but in memory clear I seem these strange words still to hear, 'I work for thee, my child.'
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