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Poem by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Only a Year

One year ago, - a ringing voice,
    A clear blue eye,
And clustering curls of sunny hair,
    Too fair to die.

Only a year, - no voice, no smile,
    No glance of eye,
No clustering curls of golden hair,
    Fair but to die!

One year ago, - what loves, what schemes
    Far into life!
What joyous hopes, what high resolves,
    What generous strife!

The silent picture on the wall,
    The burial-stone,
Of all that beauty, life, and joy,
    Remain alone!

One year, - one year, - one little year,
    And so much gone!
And yet the even flow of life
    Moves calmly on.

The grave grows green, the flowers bloom fair,
    Above that head;
No sorrowing tint of leaf or spray
    Says he is dead.

No pause or hush of merry birds
    That sing above
Tells us how coldly sleeps below
    The form we love.

Where hast thou been this year, beloved?
    What hast thou seen, -
What visions fair, what glorious life,
    Where hast thou been?

The veil! the veil! so thin, so strong!
    'Twixt us and thee;
The mystic veil! when shall it fall,
    That we may see?

Not dead, not sleeping, not even gone,
    But present still,
And waiting for the coming hour
    Of God's sweet will.

Lord of the living and the dead,
    Our Saviour dear!
We lay in silence at thy feet
    This sad, sad year.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe's other poems:
  1. The Miserere
  2. Arrival in the Land of Freedom
  3. In the Fair Garden of Celestial Peace
  4. The Crocus
  5. The Other World

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