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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein
I. I shall not soon forget her and her eyes, The haunts of hate, where suffering seemed to write Its own dark name, whose syllables are sighs, In strange and starless night. I shall not soon forget her and her face, So quiet, yet uneasy as a dream, That stands on tip-toe in a haunted place And listens for a scream. She made me feel as one, alone, may feel In some grand ghostly house of olden time, The presence of a treasure, walls conceal, The secret of a crime. II. With lambent faces, mimicking the moon, The water lilies lie; Dotting the darkness of the long lagoon Like some black sky. A face, the whiteness of a water-flower, And pollen-golden hair, In shadow half, half in the moonbeams' glower, Lifts slowly there. A young girl's face, death makes cold marble of, Turned to the moon and me, Sad with the pathos of unspeakable love, Floating to sea. III. One listening bent, in dread of something coming, He can not see nor balk A phantom footstep, in the ghostly gloaming, That haunts a terraced walk. Long has he given his whole heart's hard endeavor Unto the work begun, Still hoping love would watch it grow and ever Turn kindly eyes thereon. Now in his life he feels there nears an hour, Inevitable, alas! When in the darkness he shall cringe and cower, And see his dead self pass.
Madison Julius Cawein
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