by Bayard Taylor
She came, long absent from my side,
And absent from my dreams, she came,
The earthly and the heavenly bride,
In maiden beauty glorified:
She looked upon me, angel-eyed:
She called me by my name.
But I, whose heart to meet her sprang
And shook the fragile house of dreams,
Stood, smitten with a guilty pang:
In other groves and temples rang
The songs that once for her I sang,
By woods and faery streams.
Her eyes had power to lift my head,
And, timorous as a truant child,
I met the sacred light they shed,
The light of heaven around her spread:
She read my face; no word she said:
I only saw she smiled.
Canst thou forgive me, Angel mine,
that Love at last beguiled
My heart to build a second shrine?
See, still I kneel and weep at thine,
But I am human, thou divine!
Still silently she smiled.
Dost undivided worship claim,
To keep thine altar undefiled?
Or must I bear thy tender blame,
And in thy pardon feel my shame,
Whene'er I breathe another name?
She looked at me, and smiled.
Speak, speak! and then my tears came fast,
My troubled heart with doubt grew wild:
Will 't vex the love, which still thou hast,
To know that I have peace at last?
And from my dream the vision passed,
And still, in passing, smiled.
Source:The Poet's Journal
Ticknor and Fields, Boston