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in. The voice that had been so strong

To bid the snare depart, The true and earnest will,

The calm and steadfast heart, Were now weighed down by sorrow,

Were quivering now with pain; The clear path now seemed clouded,

And all her grief in vain.


Duty, Right, Truth, who promised

To help and save their own, Seemed spreading wide their pinions

To leave her there alone. So, turning from the Present

To well-known days of yore, She called on them to strengthen

And guard her soul once more.

v. She thought how in her girlhood Her life was given away, The solemn promise spoken She kept so well to-day;

How to her brother Herbert

She had been help and guide, And how his artist nature

On her calm strength relied.

VI. How through life's fret and turmoil

The passion and fire of art
In him was soothed and quickened

By her true sister heart;
How future hopes had always

Been for his sake alone;
And now,—what strange new feeling

Possessed her as its own?


Her home—each flower that breathed there,

The wind's sigh, soft and low, Each trembling spray of ivy,

The river's murmuring flow, The shadow of the forest,

Sunset, or twilight dim— Dear as they were, were dearer

By leaving them for him.


And each year as it found her

In the dull, feverish town, Saw self still more forgotten,

And selfish care kept down By the calm joy of evening .

That brought him to her side, To warn him with wise counsel,

Or praise with tender pride.

IX. Her heart, her life, her future,

Her genius, only meant Another thing to give him,

And be therewith content. To-day, what words had stirred her,

Her soul could not forget? What dream had filled her spirit

With strange and wild regret?

To leave him for another,—

Could it indeed be so?
Could it have cost such anguish

To bid this vision go?

Was this her faith? Was Herbert The second in her heart?
Did it need all this struggle To bid a dream depart?


And yet, within her spirit

A far-off land was seen, A home, which might have held her,

A love, which might have been,
And Life—not the mere being

Of daily ebb and flow,
But Life itself had claimed her,

And she had let it go!


Within her heart there echoed

Again the well-known tone That promised this bright future,

And asked her for her own: Then words of sorrow, broken

By half-reproachful pain; And then a farewell, spoken

In words of cold disdain.



Where now was the stern purpose

That nerved her soul so long? Whence came the words she uttered,

So hard, so cold, so strong? What right had she to banish

A hope that God had given? Why must she choose earth's portion,

And turn aside from Heaven?


To-day! Was it this morning?

If this long, fearful strife Was but the work of hours,

What would be years of life? Why did a cruel Heaven

For such great suffering call? And why—Oh, still more cruel!—

Must her own words do all?

Did she repent? Oh Sorrow!

Why do we linger still
To take thy loving message,

And do thy gentle will?

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