Only A Dream

METHOUGHT I saw thee yesternight
Sit by me in the olden guise,
The white robes and the pain foregone,
Weaving instead of amaranth crown
A web of mortal dyes.

I cried, 'Where hast thou been so long?'
(The mild eyes turned and mutely smiled
'Why dwellest thou in far-off lands?
What is that web within thy hands?'
--'I work for thee, my child.'

I clasped thee in my arms and wept;
I kissed thee oft with passion wild:
I poured fond questions, tender blame;
Still thy sole answer was the same,--
'I work for thee, my child.'

'Come and walk with me as of old.'
Then camest thou, silent as before;
We passed along that churchyard way
We used to tread each Sabbath day,
Till one trod earth no more.

I felt thy hand upon my arm,
Beside me thy meek face I saw,
Yet through the sweet familiar grace
A something spiritual could trace
That left a nameless awe.

Trembling I said, 'Long years have passed
Since thou wert from my side beguiled;
Now thou'rt returned and all shall be
As was before.'--Half-pensively
Thou answered'st--'Nay, my child.'

I pleaded sore: 'Hadst thou forgot
The love wherewith we loved of old,--
The long sweet days of converse blest,
The nights of slumber on thy breast,--
Wert thou to me grown cold?'

There beamed on me those eyes of heaven
That wept no more, but ever smiled;
'Love only is love in that Home
Where I abide--where, till thou come,
I work for thee, my child.'

If from my sight thou passedst then,
Or if my sobs the dream exiled,
I know not: but in memory clear
I seem these strange words still to hear,
'I work for thee, my child.'

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