She braided a wreath for her silken hair,
And kindled a smile on her sad, pale face;
For a secret had been writing there,
In lines that sorrow alone could trace!
She gave a check to the rising sigh,
And sent it again at its source to swell;
While she turned to dash from her tearful eye
A glittering drop, that her tale might tell.
Her foot in the dazzling hall was found
As lightly the maze of the dance to thread,
While, sportive, she moved to the viol's sound,
As if not a hope of her heart had fled!
Yet she wished, ere a rose in her wreath should die,
Or the smile on her lip should cease to play,
Her head on the pillow of death might lie,
And the suffering chords of her heart give way!
But she poured no plaint in an earthly ear;
Her soul with its secret griefs went up,
Beseeching her God that he would hear—
Withdraw the bitter, or break the cup!
Her prayer was heard, and the sigh was stilled,
As if in her breast it ne'er had been!
The tear, ere it sprang to her eye, was chilled;
And the lids for ever had locked it in!
I bent o'er her pale and breathless clay,
As it shone in the light, like a frozen flower,
That stands in the air of a winter's day,
Ere a leaf has drooped at the sunbeam's power!
'T was wrapped in a sweet and holy calm,
That bade each shadow of grief depart!
The spirit had risen to breathe the balm,
Which Gilead sheds for the pure in heart!