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by [?]


God made a heart of gold, of gold,

Shining and sweet and true;

Gave it a home of fairest mould,

Blest it, and called it — You.

God gave the rose its grace of glow,

And the lark its radiant glee;

But, better than all, I know, I know

God gave you, Heart, to me.


She was all sunshine in those dubious days;
Our cabin beaconed with defiant light;
We chattered by the friendly drift-wood blaze;
Closer and closer cowered the hag-like night.
A wolf-howl would have been a welcome sound,
And there was none in all that stricken land;
Yet with such silence, darkness, death around,
Learned we to love as few can understand.
Spirit with spirit fused, and soul with soul,
There in the sullen shadow of the Pole.


What was that haunting horror of the night?
Brave was she; buoyant, full of sunny cheer.
Why was her face so small, so strangely white?
Then did I turn from her, heart-sick with fear;
Sought in my agony the outcast snows;
Prayed in my pain to that insensate sky;
Grovelled and sobbed and cursed, and then arose:
“Sunshine! O heart of gold! to die! to die!”


She died on Christmas day — it seems so sad
That one you love should die on Christmas day.
Head-bowed I knelt by her; O God! I had
No tears to shed, no moan, no prayer to pray.
I heard her whisper: “Call me, will you, dear?
They say Death parts, but I won’t go away.
I will be with you in the cabin here;
Oh I will plead with God to let me stay!
Stay till the Night is gone, till Spring is nigh,
Till sunshine comes . . . be brave . . . I’m tired . . . good-bye. . . .”


For weeks, for months I have not seen the sun;
The minatory dawns are leprous pale;
The felon days malinger one by one;
How like a dream Life is! how vain! how stale!
I, too, am faint; that vampire-like disease
Has fallen on me; weak and cold am I,
Hugging a tiny fire in fear I freeze:
The cabin must be cold, and so I try
To bear the frost, the frost that fights decay,
The frost that keeps her beautiful alway.


She lies within an icy vault;

It glitters like a cave of salt.

All marble-pure and angel-sweet

With candles at her head and feet,

Under an ermine robe she lies.

I kiss her hands, I kiss her eyes:

“Come back, come back, O Love, I pray,

Into this house, this house of clay!

Answer my kisses soft and warm;

Nestle again within my arm.

Come! for I know that you are near;

Open your eyes and look, my dear.

Just for a moment break the mesh;

Back from the spirit leap to flesh.

Weary I wait; the night is black;

Love of my life, come back, come back!”


Last night maybe I was a little mad,
For as I prayed despairful by her side,
Such a strange, antic visioning I had:
Lo! it did seem HER EYES WERE OPEN WIDE.
Surely I must have dreamed! I stared once more. . . .
No, ’twas a candle’s trick, a shadow cast.
There were her lashes locking as before.
(Oh, but it filled me with a joy so vast!)
No, ’twas a freak, a fancy of the brain,
(Oh, but to-night I’ll try again, again!)