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I love the Stars like friends; so many nights
I gazed at them, when you were far from me,

Till I grew blind with tears .... those far off lights
Could watch you, whom I longed in vain to see.

I love the Flowers; happy hours lie

Shut up within their petals close and fast:

You have forgotten, dear: but they and I
Keep every fragment of the golden Past.

I love, too, to be loved; all loving praise Seems like a crown upon my Life,—to make It better worth the giving, and to raise

Still nearer to your own the heart you take.

I love all good and noble souls;—I heard
One speak of you but lately, and for days

Only to think of it, my soul was stirred
In tender memory of such generous praise.

I love all those who love you; all who owe
Comfort to you: and I can find regret

Even for those poorer hearts who once could know,
And once could love you, and can now forget.

Well, is my heart so narrow—I, who spare
Love for all these? Do I not even hold

My favourite books in special tender care,
And prize them as a miser does his gold?

The Poets that you used to read to me
While summer twilights faded in the sky;

But most of all I think Aurora Leigh,

Because—because—do you remember why?

Will you be jealous? Did you guess before
I loved so many things ?—Still you the best:—

Dearest, remember that I love you more,
Oh, more a thousand times than all the rest!




HE fettered Spirits linger
In purgatorial pain,
With penal fires effacing
Their last faint earthly stain,
Which Life's imperfect sorrow
Had tried to cleanse in vain.

Yet, on each feast of Mary Their sorrow finds release,
For the Great Archangel Michael Comes down and bids it cease;
And the name of these brief respites Is called "Our Lady's Peace."

Yet once—so runs the Legend—
When the Archangel came

And all these holy spirits

Rejoiced at Mary's name; One voice alone was wailing,

Still wailing on the same.

And though a great Te Deum
The happy echoes woke, This one discordant wailing

Through the sweet voices broke; So when St. Michael questioned Thus the poor spirit spoke :—

"I am not cold or thankless,
Although I still complain;I prize our Lady's blessing
Although it comes in vain To still my bitter anguish,
Or quench my ceaseless pain.

"On earth a heart that loved me, Still lives and mourns me there, And the shadow of his anguish Is more than I can bear;

All the torment that I suffer
Is the thought of his despair.

"The evening of my bridal
Death took my Life away;

Not all Love's passionate pleading
Could gain an hour's delay.

And he I left has suffered
A whole year since that day.

"If I could only see him,—

If I could only go
And speak one word of comfort

And solace,—then, I know
He would endure with patience,

And strive against his woe."

Thus the Archangel answered:— "Your time of pain is brief,

And soon the peace of Heaven
Will give you full relief;

Yet if his earthly comfort

So much outweighs your grief,

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