In one ripe golden sheaf, a wealth
Of words to tell how 'fore my startled mind,
Not with a gentle and soul-soothing stealth,
But dazzlingly, there swept so much of grace
And beauty, - but in vain; and my poor soul,
Deep drained of all its joy, can scarce embrace
In its enfeebled grasp life's crumpled roll,
Half written o'er with pleasure, half with pain.
Yet all the characters of grief engraven
Upon that scroll with iron style I fain
Would read, if graven by her hand, let Heaven
Itself the words of pleasure trace and promise give
Of grace, if robbed of her sweet presence I must live.