To A Lady.

A poem by George W. Sands

Suggested By Hearing Her Voice During Services At Church.

At night, in visions, when my soul drew near
The shadowy confines of the spirit land,
Wild, wondrous notes of song have met my ear,
Wrung from their harps by many a seraph's hand;
And forms of light, too, more divinely fair
Than Mercy's messenger to hearts that mourn,
On wings that made sweet music in the air,
Have round me, in those hours of bliss, been borne,
And, filled with joy unutterable, I
Have deemed myself a born child of the sky.

And often, too, at sunset's magic hour,
When musing by some solitary stream,
While thought awoke in its resistless pow'r,
And restless Fancy wove her brightest dream:
Mysterious tongues, that were not of the earth,
Have whispered words which I may not repeat, -
But Thought or Fancy ne'er have given birth
To form and voice like thine, - so fair and sweet!
Nor have I found them when my spirit's flight
Had borne me to the far shores of delight.

Above the murmurs of an hundred lips,
They rose, those silvery tones of praise and pray'r,
Soft as the light breeze, when Aurora trips
The earth, and, lighting up the darkened air,
Carols her greetings to the waking flow'rs!
They fell upon my heart like summer rain
Upon the thirsting fields, - and earlier hours,
When I too breathed th' adoring pray'r and strain,
Came back once more; the present was beguiled
Of half its gloom, and my worn spirit smiled.

Pray, lady, that the sad, soul-searing blight,
Which comes upon us when we tread the ways
Of sin, may not be suffered to alight
On thy pure spirit in its youthful days;
Or like the fruitage of the Dead Sea shore,
Tho' outward bloom and freshness thou may'st be,
Stern bitterness and death will gnaw thy core,
And thou wilt be a heart-scathed thing like me,
Bearing the weight of many years, ere thou
Hast lost youth's rosy cheek and lineless brow.

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