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Through opened doors and windows It stole up through the gloom,
Yes, he was there; and pausing
Just near the opened door,
She heard—and paused still more— His low voice—Dora's answers—
His pleading—Yes, she knew The tone—the words—the accents:
She once had heard them too.
"Would Alice blame her?" Leonard's
Low, tender answer came:— "Alice was far too noble
To think or dream of blame." "And was he sure he loved her?"
"Yes, with the one love given Once in a lifetime only,
With one soul and one heaven!"
Then came a plaintive murmur,—
"Dora had once been told That he and Alice" "Dearest,
Alice is far too cold
If once I fancied so,
And over,—long ago."
Between the Past and Present,
On that bleak moment's height, She stood. As some lost traveller
By a quick flash of light Seeing a gulf before him,
With dizzy, sick despair, Reels backward, but to find it
A deeper chasm there.
The twilight grew still darker,
And hours passed in dreaming
Over their new-found fate,
Why Alice was so late.
xv. She came, and calmly listened;
In vain they strove to trace
In grief upon her face.
No feeling could be told;
Her manner not more cold.
XVI. They could not hear the anguish
That broke in words of pain Through the calm summer midnight,—
"My Herbert—mine again!" Yes, they have once been parted,
But this day shall restore
"My Herbert—mine once more!"
Now Christmas Eve returning,
Saw Alice stand beside The altar, greeting Dora,
Again a smiling bride; And now the gloomy evening
Sees Alice pale and worn, Leaving the house for ever,
To wander out forlorn.
Forlorn—nay, not so. Anguish
Shall do its work at length; Her soul, passed through the fire,
Shall gain still purer strength. Somewhere there waits for Alice
An earnest noble part; And, meanwhile God is with her,
God, and her own true heart!
HE wind went forth o'er land and sea,
While the wailing sea
The wind that blew upon the sea
Full of hope and glee;