'Coming events cast their shadow before.' I had a vision in the summer light— Sorrow was in it, and my inward sight Ached with sad images. The touch of tears Gushed down my cheeks:—the figured woes of years Casting their shadows across sunny hours. Oh, there was nothing sorrowful in flowers Wooing the glances of an April sun, Or apple blossoms opening one by one Their crimson bosoms—or the twittered words And warbled sentences of merry birds;— Or the small glitter and the humming wings Of golden flies and many colored things— Oh, these were nothing sad—nor to see Her, Sitting beneath the comfortable stir Of early leaves—casting the playful grace Of moving shadows in so fair a face— Nor in her brow serene—nor in the love Of her mild eyes drinking the light above With a long thirst—nor in her gentle smile— Nor in her hand that shone blood-red the while She raised it in the sun. All these were dear To heart and eye—but an invisible fear Shook in the trees and chilled upon the air, And if one spot was laughing brightest—there My soul most sank and darkened in despair!— As if the shadows of a curtained room Haunted me in the sun—as if the bloom Of early flow'rets had no sweets for me, Nor apple blossoms any blush to see— As if the hour had brought too bright a day— And little birds were all too gay!—too gay!— As if the beauty of that Lovely One Were all a fable.—Full before the sun Stood Death and cast a shadow long before, Like a dark pall enshrouding her all o'er, Till eyes, and lips, and smiles, were all no more!
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