Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Living: After A Death - Poem by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
(Thus seems it we should say to our beloved,--
Each held by such slight links, so oft removed
And I can let thee go to the world's end,
All precious names, companion, love, spouse, friend,
Seal up in an eternal silence gray,
Like a closed grave till resurrection-day:
All sweet remembrances, hopes, dreams, desires,
Heap, as one heaps up sarificial fires:
Then, turning, consecrate by loss, and proud
Of penury--go back into the loud
Tumultuous world again with never a moan--
Save that which whispers still, 'My own, my own,'
Unto the same broad sky whose arch immense
Enfolds us both like the arm of Providence:
And thus, contended, I could live or die,
With never clasp of hand or meeting eye
On this side Paradise.--While thee I see
Living to God, thou art alive to me.
And I, methinks, can let all dear rights go,
Fond duties melt away like April snow,
And sweet, sweet hopes, that took a life to weave,
Vanish like gossamers of autumn eve.
Nay, sometimes seems it I could even bear
To lay down humbly this love-crown I wear,
Steal from my palace, helpless, hopeless, poor,
And see another queen it at the door,--
If only that the king had done no wrong,
If this my palace, where I dwelt so long,
Were not defiled by falsehood entering in:--
There is no loss but change, no death but sin,
No parting, save the slow corrupting pain
Of murdered faith that never lives again.
(So endeth faint the low pathetic cry
Of love, whom death has taught love cannot die,)
And I can stand above the daisy bed,
The only pillow for thy dearest head,
There cover up forever from my sight
My own, my earthly all of earth delight;
And enter the sea-cave of widowed years,
Where far, far off the trembling gleam appears
Through which thy heavenly image slipped away,
And waits to meet me at the open day.
Only to me, my love, only to me.
This cavern underneath the moaning sea;
This long, long life that I alone must tread,
To whom the living seem most like the dead,--
Thou wilt be safe out on the happy shore:
He who in God lives, liveth evermore.
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