Dinah Maria Craik ( )


A Ghost at the Dancing


A WIND-SWEPT tulip-beda colored cloud
Of butterflies careering in the air
A many-figured arras stirred to life,
And merry unto midnight music dumb
So the dance whirls. Do any think of thee,
Amiel, Amiel?
Friends greet each othercountless rills of talk
Meander round, scattering a spray of smiles.
Surelythe news was false. One minute more
And thou wilt stand here, tall and quiet-eyed,
Shakespearian beauty in they pensive face,
Amiel, Amiel.
 
Many here knew and loved theeI nor loved,
Scarce knewyet in thy place a shadow glides,
And a face shapes itself from empty air,
Watching the dancers, grave and quiet-eyed
Eyes that now see the angels evermore,
Amiel, Amiel.
 
On just such night as this, midst dance and song,
I bade thee carelessly a light good by
Good bysaidst thou; A happy journey home!
Was the unseen death-angel at thy side,
Mocking those words('A happy journey home,
Amiel, Amiel?
 
Ay, we play fools play still; thou hast gone home.
While these dance here, a mile hence oer thy grave
Drifts the deep New Year snow. The wondrous gate
We spoke of, thou hast entered; I without
Grope ignorant stillthou dost its secrets know,
Amiel, Amiel.
 
What if, thus sitting where we sat last year,
Thou camest, tookst up our broken thread of talk,
And toldst of that new Home, which far I view,
As children, wandering on through wintry fields,
Mark on the hill the fathers window shine,
Amiel, Amiel?
 
No. We shall see thy pleasant face no more;
Thy words on earth are ended. Yet thou livest;
T is we who die.I too, one day shall come,
And, unseen, watch these shadows, quiet-eyed
Then flit back to thy land, the living land,
Amiel, Amiel.



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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