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In Memoriam A.H.H.

         
            XXX.
             
      With trembling fingers did we weave
          The holly round the Christmas hearth;
          A rainy cloud possess’d the earth,
      And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.

      At our old pastimes in the hall
          We gambol’d, making vain pretence
          Of gladness, with an awful sense
      Of one mute Shadow watching all.

      We paused: the winds were in the beech:
          We heard them sweep the winter land;
          And in a circle hand-in-hand
      Sat silent, looking each at each.

      Then echo-like our voices rang;
          We sung, tho’ every eye was dim,
          A merry song we sang with him
      Last year: impetuously we sang:

      We ceased: a gentler feeling crept
          Upon us: surely rest is meet:
          ‘They rest,’ we said, ‘their sleep is sweet,’
      And silence follow’d, and we wept.

      Our voices took a higher range;
          Once more we sang: ‘They do not die
          Nor lose their mortal sympathy,
      Nor change to us, although they change;

      ‘Rapt from the fickle and the frail
          With gather’d power, yet the same,
          Pierces the keen seraphic flame
      From orb to orb, from veil to veil.’

      Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,
          Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
          O Father, touch the east, and light
      The light that shone when Hope was born.
       


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