HER gentle ghost is with me everywhere!
’T was here she came, one summer day, to die ;
Spoke but my name, and then, all silently,
Laid her dear head upon that pillow, there,
And spoke no more. That summer day was fair,
And very glad with joyous minstrelsy
Of chirping birds, and heedless gayety
Of small, bright things who of the sun were ’ware.
But in the midmost glow of life, on death
She sleeping chanced, and closed her dear, dark eyes:
The air grew sadder with her parting breath,
And nature seemed to shiver with surprise;
And then the things that Morning had begun
Fared on, — she too, like them, had sought the sun.


Now, with the summer, she has come again.
Outside the birds sing, as they sang that day,
And summer things upon the air are gay ;
But she sits silent, and her eyes are fain
To hide from me the secret of their pain.
From heaven to earth, oh, dim and far the way!
What brings thee back ? Be merciful, and say !
Tell me the wrong of which thine eyes complain!
Say, hast thou brought sad secrets from the skies,
Or is it that the old days haunt thee still ?
Is that immortal sorrow in thine eyes
, Token of longings heaven could not fulfill ?
Sad ghost, I pray thee answer, and forego
The silence of thy irrevocable woe !


Thou wilt not speak ! Day after silent day
Thou sittest with me in this lonesome place.
The morning sunlight falls upon thy face ;
Night comes, and thou and Night together stay, —
No sunshine warms thee, and no storms dismay.
I stretch my empty arms for thine embrace,
Thou glidest from them with elusive grace.
Thine unresponsive lips will never say
The secret of thy woe : and yet I think
From me to thee, the living to the dead,
Waiting together on the hither brink
Of death’s great middle sea, some influence shed
Shall make thee know how now I hold thee dear,
Who loved thee not enough that other year.
Louise Chandler Moulton.