Dinah Maria Mulock Craik 1826 (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) – 1887 (Shortlands, London)
LITTLE white clouds, why are you flying
Over the sky so blue and cold?
Fair faint hopes, why are you lying
Over my heart like a white cloud's fold?
Slender green leaves, why are you peeping
Out of the ground where the snow yet lies?
Toying west wind, why are you creeping
Like a child's breath across my eyes?
Hope and terror by turns consuming,
Lover and friend put far from me,--
What should I do with the bright spring, coming
Like an angel over the sea?
Over the cruel sea that parted
Me from mine own, and rolls between;--
Out of the woful east, whence darted
Heaven's full quiver of vengeance keen.
Day teaches day, night whispers morning--
'Hundreds are weeping their dead, while thou
Weeping thy living--Rise, be adorning
Thy brows, unwidowed, with smiles.'--But how?
O, had he married me!--unto anguish,
Hardship, sickness, peril, and pain;
That on my breast his head might languish
In lonely jungle or scorching plain;
O, had we stood on some rampart gory,
Till he--ere Horror behind us trod--
Kissed me, and killed me--so, with his glory
My soul went happy and pure to God!
Nay, nay, Heaven pardon me! me, sick-hearted,
Living this long, long life-in-death:
Many there are far wider parted
Who under one roof-tree breathe one breath.
But we that loved--whom one word half broken
Had drawn together close soul to soul
As lip to lip--and it was not spoken,
Nor may be while the world's ages roll.
I sit me down with my tears all frozen:
I drink my cup, be it gall or wine:
For I know, if he lives, I am his chosen--
I know, if he dies, that he is mine.
If love in its silence be greater, stronger
Than million promises, sighs, or tears--
I will wait upon Him a little longer
Who holdeth the balance of our years.
Little white clouds, like angels flying,
Bring the spring with you across the sea--
Loving or losing, living or dying,
Lord, remember, remember me!
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