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I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other's gaze down, --
You could not.
And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death's privilege?
Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus',
That new grace

I think just how my lips will weigh
With shapeless, quivering prayer
That you, so late, consider me,
The sparrow of your care.
I mind me that of anguish sent,
Some drifts were moved away
Before my simple bosom broke, --
And why not this, if they?

But angels say, on yesterday,
Just as the dawn was red,
One little boat o'erspent with gales
Retrimmed its masts, redecked its sails
Exultant, onward sped!
There's been a death in the opposite house
As lately as to-day.
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.

Wild-flowers kindle in the woods,
The brooks brag all the day;
No blackbird bates his jargoning
For passing Calvary.
Auto-da-fe and judgment
Are nothing to the bee;
His separation from his rose
To him seems misery.

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

A sickness of this world it most occasions
When best men die;
A wishfulness their far condition
To occupy.
A chief indifference, as foreign
A world must be
Themselves forsake contented,
For Deity.

I hope the father in the skies
Will lift his little girl, --
Old-fashioned, naughty, everything, --
Over the stile of pearl!
An awful tempest mashed the air,
The clouds were gaunt and few;
A black, as of a spectre's cloak,
Hid heaven and earth from view.
The creatures chuckled on the roofs
And whistled in the air,
And shook their fists and gnashed their teeth.
And swung their frenzied hair.

"'T is daisy in the shortest;
A little farther on,
Nearest the door to wake the first,
Little leontodon.
"'T is iris, sir, and aster,
Anemone and bell,
Batschia in the blanket red,
And chubby daffodil."
Meanwhile at many cradles
Her busy foot she plied,
Humming the quaintest lullaby
That ever rocked a child.

Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisies play.
Which, sir, are you, and which am I,
Upon an August day?
The moon is distant from the sea,
And yet with amber hands
She leads him, docile as a boy,
Along appointed sands.
He never misses a degree;
Obedient to her eye,
He comes just so far toward the town,
Just so far goes away.

His bill an auger is,
His head, a cap and frill.
He laboreth at every tree, --
A worm his utmost goal.
Sweet is the swamp with its secrets,
Until we meet a snake;
'T is then we sigh for houses,
And our departure take
At that enthralling gallop
That only childhood knows.
A snake is summer's treason,
And guile is where it goes.

A smile suffused Jehovah's face;
The cherubim withdrew;
Grave saints stole out to look at me,
And showed their dimples, too.
I left the place with all my might, --
My prayer away I threw;
The quiet ages picked it up,
And Judgment twinkled, too,
That one so honest be extant
As take the tale for true
That "Whatsoever you shall ask,
Itself be given you."

And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,
As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And 't was like midnight, some,

Morning has not occurred!
That shall aurora be
East of eternity;
One with the banner gay,
One in the red array, --
That is the break of day.

Was bridal e'er like this?
A paradise, the host,
And cherubim and seraphim
The most familiar guest.
I'm wife; I've finished that,
That other state;
I'm Czar, I'm woman now:
It's safer so.

The rose will redden in the bog,
The aster on the hill
Her everlasting fashion set,
And covenant gentians frill,
Till summer folds her miracle
As women do their gown,
Or priests adjust the symbols
When sacrament is done.

Until they lock it in the grave,
'T is bliss I cannot weigh,
For though they lock thee in the grave,
Myself can hold the key.
Think of it, lover! I and thee
Permitted face to face to be;
After a life, a death we'll say, --
For death was that, and this is thee.

Was he afraid, or tranquil?
Might he know
How conscious consciousness could grow,
Till love that was, and love too blest to be,
Meet -- and the junction be Eternity?
The last night that she lived,
It was a common night,
Except the dying; this to us
Made nature different.

The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies, --
Death is but one and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.
There's grief of want, and grief of cold, --
A sort they call 'despair;'
There's banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.
And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other's gaze down, --
You could not.
And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death's privilege?

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.

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