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by [?]

WHILE Hester lived, the day was bright
With something more than common light–
‘Twas the moon’s difference to the night.

As summer sun and summer shower
Revive the tree, the herb, and flower,
Hers was the gift of warmth and power.

She was not what the world calls wise;
Yet, the mute language of her eyes
Was worth a thousand homilies.

She was so crystal pure a thing,
That sin to her could no more cling
Than water to a sea-bird’s wing.

Like memory-tones heard long ago,
Her gentle voice was soft and low,
But plaintive in its underflow.

Her life so slowly loosed its springs,
Long ere she passed from earthly things,
We saw the budding of her wings.

She lingered so in taking leave–
Heaven granted us a long reprieve–
That when she went we could not grieve.

The very night that Hester died,
There came and stood my couch beside,
A gentle spirit glorified.

And often in my darker mood,
When evil thoughts subdue the good,
I see her clasp the holy Rood.

But when my better hopes illume
The narrow pathway to the tomb,
My Hester’s presence fills the room.