Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

Looking East - Poem by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

LITTLE white clouds, why are you flying
Over the sky so blue and cold?
Fair faint hopes, why are you lying
Over my heart like a white cloud's fold?

Slender green leaves, why are you peeping
Out of the ground where the snow yet lies?
Toying west wind, why are you creeping
Like a child's breath across my eyes?

Hope and terror by turns consuming,
Lover and friend put far from me,--
What should I do with the bright spring, coming
Like an angel over the sea?

Over the cruel sea that parted
Me from mine own, and rolls between;--
Out of the woful east, whence darted
Heaven's full quiver of vengeance keen.

Day teaches day, night whispers morning--
'Hundreds are weeping their dead, while thou
Weeping thy living--Rise, be adorning
Thy brows, unwidowed, with smiles.'--But how?

O, had he married me!--unto anguish,
Hardship, sickness, peril, and pain;
That on my breast his head might languish
In lonely jungle or scorching plain;

O, had we stood on some rampart gory,
Till he--ere Horror behind us trod--
Kissed me, and killed me--so, with his glory
My soul went happy and pure to God!

Nay, nay, Heaven pardon me! me, sick-hearted,
Living this long, long life-in-death:
Many there are far wider parted
Who under one roof-tree breathe one breath.

But we that loved--whom one word half broken
Had drawn together close soul to soul
As lip to lip--and it was not spoken,
Nor may be while the world's ages roll.

I sit me down with my tears all frozen:
I drink my cup, be it gall or wine:
For I know, if he lives, I am his chosen--
I know, if he dies, that he is mine.

If love in its silence be greater, stronger
Than million promises, sighs, or tears--
I will wait upon Him a little longer
Who holdeth the balance of our years.

Little white clouds, like angels flying,
Bring the spring with you across the sea--
Loving or losing, living or dying,
Lord, remember, remember me!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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