Dinah Maria Craik ( )

Lost in the Mist

THE thin white snow-streaks pencilling
That mountains shoulder gray,
While in the west the pale green sky
Smiled back the dawning day,
Till from the misty east the sun
Was of a sudden born
Like a new soul in Paradise
How long it seems since morn!
One little hour, O round red sun,
And thou and I shall come
Unto the golden gate of rest,
The open door of home:
One little hour, O weary sun,
Delay the threatened eve
Till my tired feet that pleasant door
Enter and never leave.
Ye rooks that fly in slender file
Into the thickning gloom,
Yell scarce have reached your grim gray tower
Ere I have reached my home;
Plover, that thrills the solitude
With such an eerie cry,
Seek you your nest ere night-fall comes,
As my hearts nest seek I.
O light, light heart and heavy feet,
Patience a little while!
Keep the warm love-light in these eyes,
And on these lips the smile:
Out-speed the mist, the gathering mist
That follows oer the moor!
The darker grows the world without
The brighter seems that door.
O door, so close yet so far off;
O mist that nears and nears!
What, shall I faint in sight of home?
Blindedbut not with tears
T is but the mist, the cruel mist,
Which chills this heart of mine:
These eyes, too weak to see that light
It has not ceased to shine.
A little further, further yet:
The white mist crawls and crawls;
It hems me around, it shuts me in
Its great sepulchral walls:
No earthno skyno pathno light
A silence like the tomb:
O me, it is too soon to die
And I was going home!
A little further, further yet:
My limbs are young,my heart
O heart, it is not only life
That feels it hard to part:
Poor lips, slow freezing into calm,
Numbed hands that helpless fall,
And, a mile off, warm lips, fond hands,
Waiting to welcome all!
I see the pictures in the room,
The figures moving round,
The very flicker of the fire
Upon the patterned ground:
O that I were the shepherd-dog
That guards their happy door!
Or even the silly household cat
That basks upon the floor!
O that I sat one minutes space
Where I have sat so long!
O that I heard one little word
Sweeter than angels song!
A pauseand then the table fills,
The harmless mirth brims oer;
While IO can it be Gods will?
I die, outside the door.
My body failsmy desperate soul
Struggles before it go:
The bleak airs full of voices wild,
But not the voice I know;
Dim shapes come wandering through the dark:
With mocking, curious stares,
Faces long strange peer glimmering by
But not one face of theirs.
Lost, lost, and such a little way
From that dear sheltering door!
Lost, lost, out of the loving arms
Left empty evermore!
His will be done. O, gate of heaven,
Fairer than earthly door,
Receive me! Everlasting arms,
Enfold me evermore!
And so, farewell * * * * *
What is this touch
Upon my closing eyes?
My name too, that I thought to hear
Next time in Paradise?
Warm armsclose lipsO, saved, saved, saved!
Across the deathly moor
Sought, foundand yonder through the night
Shineth the blessed door.

Dinah Maria Craik's other poems:
  1. Philip, My King
  2. My Love Annie
  3. Cathair Fhargus
  4. Rothesay Bay
  5. A German Students Funeral Hymn

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