Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/113

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'Twas the wistful petition
Of childish saint, going
Across the dark river
What wonder tis growing!


I DID not know her yesterday,
This gentle friend of mine;
There was no niche unfilled, I thought,
Within this heart of mine.

To-day I know her; songs of mine
Have spoken for me while unseen,
Stretching like spider lines wind-blown
Our severed selves between.

When I have done my best she knew;
When I have failed she cared,
Looking beyond the ink-clogged pen,
My unbreathed trials shared.

Ah ! through this living type I guess
How vanished ones may keep
Some busy distaff s subtle thread
Unbroken, tho I sleep.

And still I gladder grow to think
Some souls I do not know
As yet may meet me by and by,
And, loving me, yet tell me so.