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The Penintent

'NEVER,' he said, 'nevermore,
In the murmuring stillness of night
Shall I wait for her hand on my door,
Confident, light;
Still is the night as before,
And the stars unforgettably bright.

'Once from the deep woodland calms
At midnight a wild wind broke,
Shaking the cedars and palms
And the silver-gray oak;
And she, who had slept in my arms,
Suddenly woke.

'Pity me then, for it blew
Last night again from the woodlands so deep,
Where mosses and moisture and dew
Verdure eternal keep;
From the brooks and the glades that we knew,
It woke me from sleep.

'How can she know and refrain?
How being mine can she leave me like this?
Go, when this only is plain,
Life is no more than our kiss­
Life is so lavish of pain,
So niggard of bliss!'

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