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American Annals of the Deaf

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Sweet Bells Jangled

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AVE CAESAR.

How shall I know thee when thou comest, my King,
Seeing that thou wearest not thy crown aboard,
Seeing that thou sendest me no token-ring,
And that no mark is on thy forehead set?
Ah! I shall l know thee as my heart knows God!
And I affirm that thou art all for me,
As I thy queen and subject am for thee,
If that thou be not wrongly captive led
By any other womanís luring smile,
Nor lay on any other heart thy head;
If thou canst live thy life apart awhile,
Waiting to have it perfected by mine;
If so be thou canst bear this long, sharp cark
Which eats my heart as it consumeth thine,
While I go groping vainly in the dark,
Hoping to touch thy hand and find thee out,
And by thy love be robed and wrapped about,
And crying like a newly orphaned child
Because I do not grasp thee anywhere.
Or like to one who is in sleep beguiled;
For ah! in dreams what will not fancy dare?
Be true to me, as to thyself thouírt true!
Be true to me as I am true to thee!
Keep sacred all thy tender ways for me;
Keep the caresses of thine eyes for me,
And every thrilling hand-clasp, till I come,
Like one who staggers wearied toward home,
To hold my unkissed face unto thine,
To feel thy strong life passing into mine,
Making me likewise strong, until my feet,
Like to my heartís responsive, steady beat,
Keep tirm and even step beside thine own;
And we walk on together through the world―
Never, ah! never more to be alone―
With faces like unto the face of him
Whose life was haunted by a dream of treasure,
Which he went searching for throughout the earth,
Holding all lighter things of little worth,
Until at last he found it, one glad day,
Which it made sweeter than all flowers of May,
And took it up, and went his way with pleasure!


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