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"Then through a special mercy

I offer you this grace,— You may seek him who mourns you

And look upon his face, And speak to him of comfort

For one short minute's space.

"But when that time is ended,

Return here, and remain
A thousand years in torment,

A thousand years in pain:
Thus dearly must you purchase

The comfort he will gain."

The Lime-trees' shade at evening
Is spreading broad and wide;

Beneath their fragrant arches,
Pace slowly, side by side,

In low and tender converse,
A Bridegroom and his Bride.

The night is calm and stilly,
No other sound is there

Except their happy voices:
What is that cold bleak air

That passes through the Lime-trees,
And stirs the Bridegroom's hair?

While one low cry of anguish,

Like the last dying wail
Of some dumb, hunted creature,

Is borne upon the gale:—
Why does the Bridegroom shudder

And turn so deathly pale 1
* * * *

Near Purgatory's entrance

The radiant Angels wait; It was the great St. Michael

Who closed that gloomy gate When the poor wandering spirit

Came back to meet her fate.

"Pass on," thus spoke the Angel: "Heaven's joy is deep and vast;

Pass on, pass on, poor Spirit,
For Heaven is yours at last;

In that one minute's anguish
Your thousand years have passed."



AN you open that ebony Casket? Look, this is the key: but stay, Those are only a few old letters Which I keep,—to burn some day.

Yes, that Locket is quaint and ancient;

But leave it, dear, with the ring, And give me the little Portrait

Which hangs by a crimson string.

I have never opened that Casket

Since, many long years ago.
It was sent me back in anger By one whom I used to know.

But I want you to see the Portrait:

I wonder if you can trace
A look of that smiling creature

Left now in my faded face.

It was like me once; but remember

The weary relentless years,
And Life, with its fierce, brief Tempests,

And its long, long rain of tears.

Is it stange to call it my Portrait?

Nay, smile, dear, for well you may, To think of that radiant Vision

And of what I am to-day.

With restless, yet confident longing
How those blue eyes seem to gaze

Into deep and exhaustless Treasures,
All hid in the coming days.

With that trust which leans on the Future,
And counts on her promised store,

Until she has taught us to tremble
And hope,—but to trust no more.

How that young, light heart would have pitied
Me now—if her dreams had shown

A quiet and weary woman
With all her illusions flown.

Yet I—who shall soon be resting,
And have passed the hardest part,

Can look back with a deeper pity
On that young unconscious heart.

It is strange; but Life's currents drift us

So surely and swiftly on,
That we scarcely notice the changes,

And how many things are gone:

And forget, while to-day absorbs us,
How old mysteries are unsealed;

How the old, old ties are loosened,
And the old, old wounds are healed.

And we say that our Life is fleeting
Like a story that Time has told;

But we fancy that we—we only
Are just what we were of old.

So now and then it is wisdom

To gaze, as I do to-day, At a half-forgotten relic

Of a Time that is passed away.

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