Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/246

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As it answered " No " To the " ought not" done, and the undone "ought."

Still watching this, I became perplexed,

As the eerie thing

Kept its steady swing, *

Till I heard no longer the psalm or text.

When turning softly aside at last

To the rich man s pew,

All at once I knew From whence the will-o -the-wisp was cast.

For a diamond shone in the shaking ear

Of a palsied dame,

Like a living flame Prisoned for ever within a tear.

Anew I watched with a deeper care,

Praying One to bless,

When it nodded "Yes" To the echoed cry of the sinner s prayer.

Asking strength from Him for the poor old dame,

When the light said " Nay "

In its strange wise way, As the preacher spake of the creature s claim.

So up to the edge of my book it crept,

Like an elfin light,

Until out of sight The pendent spark in the tear unwept.

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