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American Annals of the Deaf

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Sweet Bells Jangled

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VII.

FOUND.

Sitting together only yester-even,
A hush fell on us with the deepening gloom;
To me it seemed as if the peace of heaven
Descended with the twilight in the room.
You drew my head down to your sheltering bosom,
And kissed the brow, so stirless in its calm;
And then my passionate thought burst into blossom
On glowing lips: “Unworthy though I am,
                      Love me, Beloved!”

The charmed world may lay her hand in blessing
Upon my young head’s waves of sunny brown;
But I shall sigh for tenderer caressing,
And Love must plait the laurels for my crown.
If up the heights where gleams the golden glory
Of royal souls my woman’s feet should go,
Think not these lips could then forget the story
Now gushing from my wild heart’s overflow:
                      “Love me, Beloved!”

No, no! If in the clamor of glad voices
Blending my name with high, exultant song,
I missed the tone that most my heart rejoices,―
The very sweetest singer in the throng,―
I would not care to listen any longer;
You are all grace and melody to me;
And, leaning on your life, my life grows stronger,
Your strength shall nerve me for Eternity.
                      Love me, Beloved!

How tenderly you meet the mute appealing
Of eyes that ever seek to read your own.
This clinging trust― this wild excess of feeling―
But, dearest, I have been so long alone!
Henceforth there is no good beyond my grasping,
No splendor that my earth-life may not take;
The passionate heart which to your own you‘re clasping
Is henceforth sacred for your princely sake.
                      Love me, Beloved!

VIII.

I have been poring over some old papers;
Some of my earliest writings,― school-girl things,―
And found this page, which reads like prophecy
In the full light that Love casts on to-day.
When I concluded to devote my life
To writing poems and to studying Greek,
I burnt a copy of it,― called it callow,―
And did not know that I had kept this one.


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