Susan Coolidge



Her Going

by Susan Coolidge

Suggested by a picture.

She stood in the open door,
She blessed them faint and low:
I must go," she said, "must go
Away from the light of the sun,
Away from you, every one;
Must see your eyes no more, --
Your eyes, that love me so.

I should not shudder thus,
Nor weep, nor be afraid,
Nor cling to you so dismayed,
Could I only pierce with my eyes
Where the dark, dark shadow lies;
Where something hideous
Is hiding, perhaps,
she said.

Then slowly she went from them,
Went down the staircase grim,
With trembling heart and limb;
Her footfalls echoed
In the silence vast and dead,
Like the notes of a requiem,
Not sung, but uttered.

For a little way and a black
She groped as grope the blind,
Then a sudden radiance shined,
And a vision her eyelids burned;
All joyfully she turned,
For a moment turned she back,
And smiled at those behind.

There in the shadows drear
An angel sat serene,
Of grave and tender mien,
With whitest roses crowned;
A scythe lay on the ground,
As reaping-time were near, --
A burnished scythe and a keen.

She did not start or pale
As the angel rose and laid
His hand on hers, nor said
A word, but beckoned on;
For a glorious meaning shone
On the lips that told no tale,
And she followed him, unafraid.

Her friends wept for a space;
Then one said: Be content;
Surely some good is meant
For her, our Beautiful, --
Some glorious good and full.
Did you not see her face,
Her dear smile, as she went?


Copyright 1880
Roberts Brothers, Boston
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