MAY 23, 1864

    How beautiful it was, that one bright day
        In the long week of rain!
    Though all its splendor could not chase away
        The omnipresent pain.

    The lovely town was white with apple-blooms,
        And the great elms o'erhead
    Dark shadows wove on their aerial looms
        Shot through with golden thread.

    Across the meadows, by the gray old manse,
        The historic river flowed:
    I was as one who wanders in a trance,
        Unconscious of his road.

    The faces of familiar friends seemed strange;
        Their voices I could hear,
    And yet the words they uttered seemed to change
        Their meaning to my ear.

    For the one face I looked for was not there,
        The one low voice was mute;
    Only an unseen presence filled the air,
        And baffled my pursuit.

    Now I look back, and meadow, manse, and stream
        Dimly my thought defines;
    I only see--a dream within a dream--
        The hill-top hearsed with pines.

    I only hear above his place of rest
        Their tender undertone,
    The infinite longings of a troubled breast,
        The voice so like his own.

    There in seclusion and remote from men
        The wizard hand lies cold,
    Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,
        And left the tale half told.

    Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,
        And the lost clew regain?
    The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower
        Unfinished must remain!


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