Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Watcher

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I think I hear the sound of horses' feet
Beating upon the graveled avenue.
Go to the window that looks on the street,
He would not let me die alone, I knew."
Back to the couch the patient watcher passed,
And said: "It is the wailing of the blast."


She turned upon her couch and, seeming, slept,
The long, dark lashes shadowing her cheek;
And on and on the weary moments crept,
When suddenly the watcher heard her speak:
"I think I hear the sound of horses' hoofs--"
And answered, "'Tis the rain upon the roofs."


Unbroken silence, quiet, deep, profound.
The restless sleeper turns: "How dark, how late!
What is it that I hear--a trampling sound?
I think there is a horseman at the gate."
The watcher turns away her eyes tear-blind:
"It is the shutter beating in the wind."


The dread hours passed; the patient clock ticked on;
The weary watcher moved not from her place.
The gray dim shadows of the early dawn
Caught sudden glory from the sleeper's face.
"He comes! my love! I knew he would!" she cried;
And smiling sweetly in her slumbers, died.

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox