Sarah Orne Jewett

To My Father

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When in the quiet house I sat alone,
Sometimes I heard your footfall drawing near;
And with a thrill of gladness open wide
I flung my door to bid you welcome, dear.
Sometimes you did not even speak to me,
But left me quickly when our eyes had met
And you had kissed me—ah, how tenderly!
Light were the tasks the busy day had set;
I had grown braver for the sight of you;
Out of your sight I was not left alone.
A thousand times across the land and sea
Your loving thoughts straight to my heart have flown,
Returned from that far country of the stars.
Again you find me in the quiet room,—
Your angelhood has lent your love fleet wings
To make the journey through the evening's gloom.
How can I miss you, though the days are long
And dark with sorrow since I saw you die,
Though like a dream my changed life seems to me,
With all its pleasures stolen suddenly?
Who is so alive as he the world calls dead!
What heart so loving as the heart that waits,
Not cold and still, but quick with tenderness!
No other hand will lead me through the gates.
Your great sweet love is ever close to me
To bring me courage, and my soul to keep.
Heaven's peace you bring who ever brought me earth's,
And some fair day I too shall fall on sleep.

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Sarah Orne Jewett