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     That haply might have waked my own,
And bearing still, without offence,
     My idle words, and petulance;
Reproving with a tear, and, while
     The tooth of pain was keenly preying
Upon her very heart, repaying
     My brief repentance with a smile.

“Oh, in her meek, forgiving eye
     There was a brightness not of mirth,
A light whose clear intensity
     Was borrowed not of earth.
Along her cheek a deepening red
     Told where the feverish hectic fed;
And yet, each fatal token gave
     To the mild beauty of her face
A newer and a dearer grace,
     Unwarning of the grave.
Twas like the hue which Autumn give
     To yonder changed and dying leaves,
Breathed over by his frosty breath;
     Scarce can the gazer feel that this
Is but the spoiler's treacherous kiss,
     The mocking-smile of Death!

Sweet were the tales she used to tell
     When summer's eve was dear to us,
And, fading from the darkening dell,
     The glory of the sunset fell
On wooded Agamenticus,—
     When, sitting by our cottage wall,
The murmur of the Saco's fall,
     And the south-wind's expiring sighs,
Came, softly blending, on my ear,
     With the low tones I loved to hear:
Tales of the pure, the good, the wise,
     The holy men and maids of old,
In the all-sacred pages told;
     Of Rachel, stooped at Haran's fountains
Amid her father's thirsty flock,
     Beautiful to her kinsman seeming
As the bright angels of his dreaming,
     On Padan-aran's holy rock;
Of gentle Ruth, and her who kept
     Her awful vigil on the mountains,
By Israel's virgin daughters wept;
     Of Miriam, with her maidens, singing
The song for grateful Israel meet,
     While every crimson wave was bringing
The spoils of Egypt at her feet;
     Of her, Samaria's humble daughter,
Who paused to hear, beside her well,
     Lessons of love and truth, which fell

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