Walter Richard Cassels

(1826-1907 / England)


The night is dark, and evermore
The thick drops patter on the pane
The wind is weary of the rain,
And round the thatches moaneth sore;
Dark is the night, and cold the air;
And all the trees stand stark and bare,
With leaves spread dank and sere below,
Slow rotting on the plashy clay,
In the God's-acre far away,
Where she, O God! lies cold below--
Cold, cold below!

And many a bitter day and night
Have pour'd their storms upon her breast,
And chill'd her in her long, long rest,
With foul corruption's icy blight;
Earth's dews are freezing round the heart,
Where love alone so late had part;
And evermore the frost and snow
Are burrowing downward through the clay,
In the God's-acre far away,
Where she, O God! lies cold below,--
Cold, cold below!

Those eyes so full of light are dim;
And the clear chalice of her youth,
All sparkling up with love and truth,
Hath Death drain'd keenly from the brim;--
No more can mortal ear rejoice
In the soft music of her voice;
No wistful eye, through tears of woe,
Can pierce down through the heavy clay,
In the God's-acre far away,
Where she, O God! lies cold below,--
Cold, cold below.

A star shines, sudden, from the sky--
God's angel cometh, pure and bright,
Making a radiance through the night,
Unto the place where, mute, I lie,
Gazing up in rapt devotion,
Shaken by a deep emotion;
And my thoughts no longer go
Wandering o'er the plashy clay,
In the God's-acre far away,
Where she, O God! _lay_ cold below--
Cold, cold below!

God's angel! ah I divinely bright!
But still the olden grace is there--
The soft brown eyes--the raven hair--
The gentle smile of calm delight,
That could such peace and joy impart--
The veil is rent from off my heart,
And gazing upward, well I know
The rain may beat upon the clay
In the God's-acre far away;
But she no longer lies below,
Enshrouded by the frost and snow--
Cold, cold below!

Submitted: Monday, October 11, 2010

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