SOFTLY, with palpitating heart,
She came to where he lay concealed apart.
The lamp she held intensified the gloom
And in the dusk wrought shadowy shapes of doom.
Her starry eyes
O'er-brimmed with troubled tears,
Her pulses throbbing wildly in her ears,
She stood beside him where he lay,
Hushed in the deep
Of sweet, unconscious sleep.
But as she stifled back her sighs
And tried to look upon that cherished form,
Remembrance shook her purpose warm,
And, chiding, seemed to say,—
"Why seek to solve, why, curious, thus destroy
The mystery of joy?
What doubt unblest, what faithless fear is this
That tempts to paths none may retrace,
That moves thee, fond one! to unveil the face
Is 't not enough to feel it thine?
Like Semele, wouldst gaze on the Divine?
Secret the soul of Rapture dwells;
Love gives, yet jealous tests repels,
Nor will of force be known,
And bashful Beauty viewed too near—is gone."