The Awaking.

A poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

A lady came to a snow-white bier,
Where a youth lay pale and dead:
She took the veil from her widowed head,
And, bending low, in his ear she said:
"Awaken! for I am here."

She pass'd with a smile to a wild wood near,
Where the boughs were barren and bare;
She tapp'd on the bark with her fingers fair,
And call'd to the leaves that were buried there:
"Awaken! for I am here."

The birds beheld her without a fear,
As she walk'd through the dank-moss'd dells;
She breathed on their downy citadels,
And whisper'd the young in their ivory shells:
"Awaken! for I am here."

On the graves of the flowers she dropp'd a tear,
But with hope and with joy, like us;
And even as the Lord to Lazarus,
She call'd to the slumbering sweet flowers thus:
"Awaken! for I am here."

To the lilies that lay in the silver mere,
To the reeds by the golden pond;
To the moss by the rounded marge beyond,
She spoke with her voice so soft and fond:
"Awaken! for I am here."

The violet peep'd, with its blue eye clear,
From under its own gravestone;
For the blessed tidings around had flown,
And before she spoke the impulse was known:
"Awaken! for I am here."

The pale grass lay with its long looks sere
On the breast of the open plain;
She loosened the matted hair of the slain,
And cried, as she filled each juicy vein:
"Awaken! for I am here."

The rush rose up with its pointed spear
The flag, with its falchion broad;
The dock uplifted its shield unawed,
As her voice rung over the quickening sod:
"Awaken! for I am here."

The red blood ran through the clover near,
And the heath on the hills o'erhead;
The daisy's fingers were tipp'd with red,
As she started to life, when the lady said:
"Awaken! for I am here."

And the young Year rose from his snow-white bier,
And the flowers from their green retreat;
And they came and knelt at the lady's feet,
Saying all, with their mingled voices sweet:
"O lady! behold us here."

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