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Once I staked all my heart's treasure, We played—and he won.
Yes; and just now I have seen him, Cold, smiling, and blest, Laid in his coffin. God help me! While he is at rest, I am cursed still to live:—even Death loved him the best.
OVER THE MOUNTAIN.
IKE dreary prison walls
The stern grey mountains rise,
Winds up the mountain's crest,
I dwell here in content,
Thankful for tranquil days; And yet, my eyes grow dim,
As still I gaze and gaze Upon that mountain pass,
That leads—or so it seems— To some far happy land,
Known in a world of dreams.
And as I watch that path
Over the distant hill, A foolish longing comes
My heart and soul to fill, A painful, strange desire
To break some weary bond, A vague unuttered wish
For what might lie beyond!
In that far world unknown,
Over that distant hill, May dwell the loved and lost,
Lost—yet beloved still; I have a yearning hope,
Half longing, and half pain, That by that mountain pass
They may return again.
Space may keep friends apart, Death has a mighty thrall;
There is another gulf Harder to cross than all;
Yet watching that far road,
If they should come once more, If they should come at last!
See, down the mountain side
The silver vapours creep; They hide the rocky cliffs,
They hide the craggy steep, They hide the narrow path
That comes across the hill— Oh, foolish longing, cease,
Oh, beating Heart, be still!
E must not doubt, or fear, or dread, that love for life is only given, And that the calm and sainted dead will meet estranged and cold in heaven:— Oh, Love were poor and vain indeed, based on so harsh and stern a creed.
True that this earth must pass away, with all the starry worlds of light,
With all the glory of the day, and calmer tenderness of night;
For, in that radiant home can shine alone the immortal and divine.
Earth's lower things—her pride, her fame, her science, learning, wealth and power—
Slow growths that through long ages came, or fruits of some convulsive hour,
Whose very memory must decay—Heaven is too pure for such as they.