God’s angel! ah I divinely bright!
But still the olden grace is there—
The soft brown eyes—the raven hair—
The gentle smile of calm delight,
That could such peace and joy impart—
The veil is rent from off my heart,
And gazing upward, well I know
The rain may beat upon the clay
In the God’s-acre far away;
But she no longer lies below,
Enshrouded by the frost and snow—
Cold, cold below!
It was too sweet—such dreams do ever fade
When Sorrow shakes the sleeper from his rest—
Life still to me hath been a masquerade,
Woe in Mirth’s wildest, gayest mantle drest,
With the heart hidden—but the face display’d.
But now the vizard droppeth, crush’d and torn,
And there is nought left but some tinsell’d rags,
To mock the wearer in the face of morn,
As through the gaping world she feebly drags
Her day-born measure of reproach and scorn.
But that his hand should pluck the dream away—
And thus—and thus—O Heaven! it strikes too deep!
The knife that wounds me, if not meant to slay,
Stumbles upon my heart the while I weep:
So be it; no hand of mine its course shall stay.
False? false to him? Release me—let
Before Heaven’s judgment-seat to make appeal;
Unfold the records of this life, and show
All that the secret pages can reveal,
That Heaven and Earth the inmost truth may know!
He cannot think it in his heart of hearts;
He cannot wear this falsehood in his soul,
Or deem me perjur’d; no delusive arts
Can make him blot my name from honour’s scroll:
The sun will shine forth when the cloud departs.
Patience, my heart! Error is quick, but Truth
Moves slowly, but moves surely up the earth,
Wiping from age the heresies of youth,
And kindling warmth on the once blasted hearth:
Patience, my heart! and rage will turn to ruth.
There is no blush upon my brow, though tears
Are in mine eyes, and sorrow in my heart;
This sobbing breast heaves not with traitor fears:
No sighs for sin are these that sadly start,
And bear their bitter burden to thine ears.
And though my woman’s strength bend like a reed
Before the flowing of Affliction’s river,
Not, not for shame, nor for one strumpet deed
Doth this weak frame bow down, or faintly quiver,
As I stand forth alone in deadly need.
No! before thee, Filippo, and the world,
Cased in its petty panoply of scorn,
With myriad slavish lips in mocking curl’d,
Spotless and innocent, though most forlorn,
Here stand I, ’gainst the shafts Falsehood hath hurl’d.
Confess’d! Confess’d the guilty act!
What act, my Lord, that cometh home to me
Closer than each hot word, by torment rack’d,
Flies at the bidding of false tyranny,
That makes at will the pain-wrung falsehood fact?