Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Watcher


I think I hear the sound of horses' feet
Beating upon the graveled avenue.
Go to the window that looks on the street,
He would not let me die alone, I knew.'
Back to the couch the patient watcher passed,
And said: 'It is the wailing of the blast.'


She turned upon her couch and, seeming, slept,
The long, dark lashes shadowing her cheek;
And on and on the weary moments crept,
When suddenly the watcher heard her speak:
'I think I hear the sound of horses' hoofs-'
And answered, ''Tis the rain upon the roofs.'


Unbroken silence, quiet, deep, profound.
The restless sleeper turns: 'How dark, how late!
What is it that I hear-a trampling sound?
I think there is a horseman at the gate.'
The watcher turns away her eyes tear-blind:
'It is the shutter beating in the wind.'


The dread hours passed; the patient clock ticked on;
The weary watcher moved not from her place.
The gray dim shadows of the early dawn
Caught sudden glory from the sleeper's face.
'He comes! my love! I knew he would!' she cried;
And smiling sweetly in her slumbers, died.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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