SILENT is the House: all are laid asleep:
One alone looks out o'er the snow-wreaths deep,
Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze
That whirls the wildering drift, and bends the groaning trees
Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor;
Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door;
The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far:
I trim it well, to be the wanderer's guiding-star.
Frown, my haughty sire! chide my angry dame;
Set yor slaves to spy, threaten me with shame:
But neither sire nor dame, nor prying serf shall know,
What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow.
What I love shall come like visitant of air,
Safe in secret power from lurking human snare;
What loves me, no word of mine shall e'er betray,
Though for faith unstained, my life must forfeit pay.
Burn then, little lamp, glimmer straight and clear —
Hush, a rustling wing stirs, methinks the air;
He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me;
Strange Power, I trust thy might, trust thou, my constancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
'The following are the last lines my sister Emily ever wrote.'
No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world's storm-troubles sphere:
I see Heavens Glory shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life that in me has rest,
As I—undying Life—have power in thee!
Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: utterly vain:
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,
To waken doubt in one
Hiding so fast by thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of immortality.
With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears.
Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in thee.
There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou—thou art Being and Breath,
And what thou art may never be destroyed.