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Rebecca
by [?]


HER words were few, without pretence
To tricks of courtly eloquence,
But full of pure and simple thought,
And with a guileless feeling fraught,
And said in accents which conferred
Poetic charm on household word.

She needed not to speak, to be
The best loved of the company–
She did her hands together press
With such a child-like gracefulness;
And such a sweet tranquillity
Upon her silent lips did lie,
And such unsullied purity
In the blue heaven of her eye.

She moved among us like to one
Who had not lived on earth alone;
But felt a dim, mysterious sense
Of a more stately residence,
And seemed to have a consciousness
Of an anterior happiness–
To hear, at times, the echoes sent
From some unearthly instrument
With half-remembered voices blent–
And yet to hold the friendships dear,
And prize the blessings of our sphere–
In sweet perplexity to know
Which of the two was dreamy show,
The dark green earth, the deep blue skies,
The love which shone in mortal eyes,
Or those faint recollections, telling
Of a more bright and tranquil dwelling.

We could not weep upon the day
When her pure spirit passed away;
We thought we read the mystery
Which in her life there seemed to be–
That she was not our own, but lent
To us little while, and sent
An angel child, what others preach
Of heavenly purity, to teach,
In ways more eloquent than speech–
And chiefly by that raptured eye
Which seemed to look beyond the sky,
And that abstraction, listening
To hear the choir of seraphs sing.

We thought that death did seem to her
Of long-lost joy the harbinger–
Like an old household servant, come
To take the willing scholar home;
The school-house, it was very dear,
But then the holidays were near;
And why should she be lingering here?
Softly the servant bore the child
Who at her parting turned and smiled,
And looked back to us, till the night
For ever hid her from our sight.