Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/158

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Not dead, for a feeble and pitiful moan

There came as the moments wore on, And great-hearted Luke held her close to his breast,

Like a gift from the dark waters won. She lingered to tell him with penitent breath

How she longed just to see him once more, Yet dared not come home, so in wicked despair

She bid the waves drift her ashore.

There, kneeling beside her, we prayed for her soul,

Until, trembling yet hoping, at last She came to the Saviour who Magdalene judged,

And, praying, her worn spirit passed. Till then on her lips Luke printed no kiss,

But over the poor pallid clay He stooped to her face, yet shed not a tear,

As he did when she drifted away.

  • * * *

That was long years ago, and I am his wife

Good Luke, who is tender and true Yet still as we walk by the blossoming vine,

Or the little bird carols anew, I see him grow sad, and I know very well,

Evermore till his last dying day, How the pain will come back at the sound of her name,

The poor lily that drifted away.

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