Gratitude.

A poem by Sophie M. Almon-Hensley

There are some things, dear Friend, are easier far
To say in written words than when we sit
Eye answering eye, or hand to hand close knit.
Not that there is between us any bar
Of shyness or reserve; the day is past
For that, and utter trust has come at last.

Only, when shut alone and safe inside
These four white walls, - hearing no sound except
Our own heart-beatings, silences have crept
Stealthily round us, - as the incoming tide
Quiet and unperceived creeps ever on
Till mound and pebble, rock and reef are gone.

Or out on the green hillside, even there
There is a hush, and words and thoughts are still.
For the trees speak, and myriad voices fill
With wondrous echoes all the waiting air.
We listen, and in listening must forget
Our own hearts' murmur, and our spirits' fret;

Even our joys, - thou knowest; - when the air
Is full to overflowing with the sense
Of hope fulfilled and passion's vehemence.
There is no place for words; we do not dare
To break Love's stillness, even though the power
Were ours by speech to lengthen out the hour.

But here in quietness I can recall
All I would tell thee, how thou art to me
Impulse and inspiration, and with thee
I can but smile though all my idols fall.
I wait my meed as others who have known
Patience till to their utmost stature grown.

As when the heavens are draped in gloomy gray
And earth is tremulous with a vague unrest
A glory fills the tender, troubled West
That glads the closing of November's day,
So breaks in sun-smiles my beclouded sky
When day is over and I know thee nigh.

Thou art so much, all this and more, to me,
And what am I to thee? Can I repay
These many gifts? Is there no royal way
Of recompense, so I may proudly see
The man my heart delights to praise renowned
For wealth and honor, and with rapture crowned?

Ah! though there is no recompense in love
Yet have I paid thee, given these gifts to thee,
Joy, riches, worship. Thou hast joy in me,
Is it not so, Beloved? Who shall prove
No worship of thee by my soul confessed?
And riches? Ah! a wealth of love is best.

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