Kate Seymour Maclean

The Watch-Light - Poem by Kate Seymour Maclean

Above the roofs and chimney-tops,
And through the slow November rain,
A light from some far attic pane,
Shines twinkling through the water-drops.

Some lonely watcher waits and weeps,
Like me, the step that comes not yet;-
Her watch for weary hours is set,
While far below the city sleeps.

The level lamp-rays lay the floors,
And bridge the dark that lies below,
O'er which my fancies come and go,
And peep, and listen at the doors;

And bring me word how sweet and plain,
And quaint the lonely attic room,
Where she sits singing in the gloom,
Words sadder than the autumn rain.

A thousand times by sea and shore,
In my wild dreams I see him lie,
With face upturned toward the sky,
Murdered, and stiffening in his gore;-

Or drowned, and floating with the tide,
Within some lonely midnight bay,-
His arms stretched toward me where he lay,
And blue eyes staring, fixed and wide.

Oh winds that rove o'er land and sea!
Oh waves that lap the yellow sands!
Oh hide your stealthy, treacherous hands,
And call no more his name to me.'-

Thus much I heard,-and unawares,
The sense of pity stole away
My loneliness and misery,-
When lo, a light step on the stairs!-

Ah joy!-the step that brings my own,
Safe from all harms and dangers in;-
My heart lifts up its thankful hymn,
And bids' good-night to night and moan.

I sleep,-I rest,-and I forget
The bridge-the night-lamp's level beams,
Till waiting out of happy dreams,
I see her watch-light shining yet.

God comfort those that watch in vain,-
I breathe to Him my voiceless prayer;
Pity their tears and their despair,
And bring the wanderers home again,

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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