Treasure Island

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

(November 11, 1836 – March 19, 1907 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

A Shadow of the Night


Close on the edge of a midsummer dawn
In troubled dreams I went from land to land,
Each seven-colored like the rainbow's arc,
Regions where never fancy's foot had trod
Till then; yet all the strangeness seemed not strange,
At which I wondered, reasoning in my dream
With twofold sense, well knowing that I slept.
At last I came to this our cloud-hung earth,
And somewhere by the seashore was a grave,
A woman's grave, new-made, and heaped with flowers;
And near it stood an ancient holy man
That fain would comfort me, who sorrowed not
For this unknown dead woman at my feet.
But I, because his sacred office held
My reverence, listened; and 'twas thus he spake:--
'When next thou comest thou shalt find her still
In all the rare perfection that she was.
Thou shalt have gentle greeting of thy love!
Her eyelids will have turned to violets,
Her bosom to white lilies, and her breath
To roses. What is lovely never dies,
But passes into other loveliness,
Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower, or winged air.
If this befalls our poor unworthy flesh,
Think thee what destiny awaits the soul!
What glorious vesture it shall wear at last!'
While yet he spoke, seashore and grave and priest
Vanished, and faintly from a neighboring spire
Fell five slow solemn strokes upon my ear.
Then I awoke with a keen pain at heart,
A sense of swift unutterable loss,
And through the darkness reached my hand to touch
Her cheek, soft-pillowed on one restful palm--
To be quite sure!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Shadow of the Night by Thomas Bailey Aldrich )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Randall Jarrell

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Autumn Song, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. Chocolate Cake, Michael Rosen
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. Time, Nate Hawk

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]