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From Favorite Poems Selected from English and American Authors, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.; ~ 1894; pp. 66-68.


Only a Year.

Mrs. H. B. Stowe.


ONE year ago — a ringing voice,
         A clear blue eye,
And clustering curls of sunny hair,
         Too fair to die.

Only a year — no voice, no smile,
         No glance of eye,
No clustering curls of golden hair,
         Fair but to die!

One year ago — what loves, what schemes
         Far into life!
What joyous hopes, what high resolves,
         What generous strife!

The silent picture on the wall,
         The burial stone, —
Of all that beauty, life, and joy,
         Remain alone!

One year — one year — one little year,
         And so much gone!
And yet the even flow of life
         Moves calmly on.

The grave grows green, the flowers bloom fair,
         Above that head;
No sorrowing tint of leaf or spray
         Says he is dead.

No pause or hush of merry birds
         That sing above,
Tell us how coldly sleeps below
         The form we love.

Where hast thou been this year, beloved?
         What hast thou seen?
What visions fair, what glorious life?
         Where hast thou been?

The veil, the veil! so thin, so strong,
         ’Twixt us and thee;
The mystic veil! when shall it fall,
         That we may see?

Not dead, not sleeping, not even gone;
         But present still,
68 And waiting for the coming hour
         Of God’s sweet will.

Lord of the living and the dead,
         Our Saviour dear,
We lay in silence at thy feet
         This sad, sad year.


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