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Pale shone the features of the dead, yet glorious
still to see,
Like a hunter or a chief struck down while his heart and step were free;
No shroud he wore, no robe of death, but there majestic lay,
Proudly and sadly glittering in royalty's array.
But she that with the dark hair watch'd by the cold slumberer's side,
On her wan cheek no beauty dwelt, and in her garb no pride;
Only her full impassion'd eyes as o'er that clay she bent, A wildness and a tenderness in strange resplendence
And as the swift thoughts cross'd her soul, like shadows of a cloud,
Amidst the silent room of death, the dreamer spoke aloud;
She spoke to him who could not hear, and cried, "Thou yet wilt wake,
And learn my watchings and my tears, belov'd one! for thy sake.
"They told me this was death, but well I knew it could not be ;
Fairest and stateliest of the earth! who spoke of death for thee?
They would have wrapt the funeral shroud thy gallant form around,
But I forbade-and there thou art, a monarch, rob'd and crown'd!
"With all thy bright locks gleaming still, their coronal beneath,
And thy brow so proudly beautiful-who said that this was death?
Silence hath been upon thy lips, and stillness round ✔
But the hopeful spirit in my breast is all undimm'd
"I know thou hast not lov'd me yet; I am not fair like thee,
The very glance of whose clear eye threw round a light of glee !
A frail and drooping form is mine-a cold unsmiling cheek,
Oh! I have but a woman's heart, wherewith thy heart to seek.
"But when thou wak'st, my prince, my lord! and hear'st how I have kept
A lonely vigil by thy side, and o'er thee pray'd and wept ;
How in one long deep dream of thee my nights and days have past,
Surely that humble, patient love must win back love at last!
"And thou wilt smile-my own, my own, shall be the sunny smile,
Which brightly fell, and joyously, on all but me erewhile!
No more in vain affection's thirst my weary soul shall pine
Oh! years of hope deferr'd were paid by one fond glance of thine!
"Thou'lt meet me with that radiant look when thou comest from the chase,
For me, for me, in festal halls it shall kindle o'er thy face!
Thou❜lt reck no more tho' beauty's gift mine aspect
may not bless;
In thy kind eyes this deep, deep love, shall give me loveliness.
"But wake! my heart within me burns, yet once more to rejoice
In the sound to which it ever leap'd, the music of thy voice:
Awake! I sit in solitude, that thy first look and tone, And the gladness of thine opening eyes may all be mine alone."
In the still chambers of the dust, thus pour'd forth day by day,
The passion of that loving dream from a troubled soul found way,