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  ― 98 ―

Nocturne

HYSSOP and vine, red roses dear to Love,
And Pain's imperial purple—hush, Oh hush!
Nor stir with speech their sails of gossamer
Who bear such sweetness forth!
Life sits, hands folden, for a little hour,
Where the mad viols sobbed, and pleasure swoons
For anguish of delight;
In such an hour, when ebbs reluctant day
On shores of afternoon, and from the West
Fades out her rose and gold,
I watch till one lone lamp of evening shines,
And Night,
A caravan of great black camels, creeps
With soundless feet across the Plain of Stars
Low-laden with the merchandise of dreams.
In such an hour, when triumphs of the day
Fall like a ragged garment to the floor,
I dream a dream
Of lighted candles, and a warm hearth-stone,
And curtained casements barred against the night
And all the hosts of Gloom—
And wake
To hollow clangour of a closing door,
Receding footsteps down an empty street!

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