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Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Communion


In the silence of my heart,
I will spend an hour with thee,
When my love shall rend apart
All the veil of mystery:

All that dim and misty veil
That shut in between our souls
When Death cried, 'Ho, maiden, hail!'
And your barque sped on the shoals.

On the shoals? Nay, wrongly said.
On the breeze of Death that sweeps
Far from life, thy soul has sped
Out into unsounded deeps.

I shall take an hour and come
Sailing, darling, to thy side.
Wind nor sea may keep me from
Soft communings with my bride.

I shall rest my head on thee
As I did long days of yore,
When a calm, untroubled sea
Rocked thy vessel at the shore.

I shall take thy hand in mine,
And live o'er the olden days
When thy smile to me was wine,--
Golden wine thy word of praise,

For the carols I had wrought
In my soul's simplicity;
For the petty beads of thought
Which thine eyes alone could see.

Ah, those eyes, love-blind, but keen
For my welfare and my weal!
Tho' the grave-door shut between,
Still their love-lights o'er me steal.

I can see thee thro' my tears,
As thro' rain we see the sun.
What tho' cold and cooling years
Shall their bitter courses run,--

I shall see thee still and be
Thy true lover evermore,
And thy face shall be to me
Dear and helpful as before.

Death may vaunt and Death may boast,
But we laugh his pow'r to scorn;
He is but a slave at most,--
Night that heralds coming morn.

I shall spend an hour with thee
Day by day, my little bride.
True love laughs at mystery,
Crying, 'Doors of Death, fly wide.'

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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