"THE ANGEL IN THE HOUSE."

STILL in bed I found him lying

Whom I always love to see;

Haply he had feigned slumber

To another friend than me;

But as I was hesitating,

Quarrelling with my own heart,

Half unwilling to awake him,

All unwilling to depart, -

Called he me by name, and turning,

Let me take the wished-for place

By his bedside, leaning o'er him,

Circling him with large embrace.

Just above the snow-white linen

Cherub-like appeared his head,

Seeming like an infant angel

Lacking only wings out-spread;

Almost it might upward flutter,

Wing its way above the sky,

Leave its fond but earthly lover,

And with saints and angels hover,

Face to face with God most high.

Yet, as ministers of Heaven

May sometimes with mortals dwell,

So thy presence sweet is given

Unto him who loves thee well!

Wistfully he now regards thee,

Knowing not if more is gained

By an outburst of affection,

Or by passion half restrained.

Filled with deep dissatisfaction,

With perfection of unrest,

With a strange and nameless yearning

For some good he has not guessed, -

Knowing only that this longing

Soars all other joys above, -

If he e'er finds satisfaction,

It will only be in love!