The End of it All.

The night is over—open wide the shutter ;1
The night is over, and the dismal rain ;2
Only the wild winds sob, and wail, and mutter3
Like mighty spirits tired out with pain.4
The storm is over ; I lie still and wait5
For an old friend I have not seen of late.6
The dreary, dreary years since our last meeting7
The long, dark shadows of remembered things,8
Thank God, those phantoms of the past are fleeting9
Before the sweep of the Death-angel’s wings ;10
So I can lie in peace, with failing breath,11
And calmly wait till you approach—or Death !12
’Twas very dreary when, of all forsaken,13
You left me trembling in the cold alone ;14
But Death was kinder far, and he has taken15
The hand you dropped so coldly from your own,16
And leads me—closing my world-wearied eyes17
To his still shore, which hath no memories.18
What will it matter, when we meet in heaven ?19
We shall not hear Life’s angry billows roar ;20
This little bark, too rudely tempest-driven,21
Casts anchor sooner where the storms are o’er.22
E’en now, those waves have left on Memory’s shore23
Meek thoughts, like pearl-shells scattered, nothing
And, oh, forgive her, as I have forgiven,25
Who came between us with her cruel art !26
It will not matter, when we meet in heaven,27
That our brief lives on earth were spent apart.28
And then to love—and know that love is vain29
What wonder she was mad with rage and pain !30
Methinks I should know something of that sorrow,31
Burning like fire on the heart and brain.32
I, too, with trembling hand, have sought to borrow33
Mirth’s blushing roses for a brow of pain,34
Though all these dreary years the world’s cold eye35
Has never read my secret—but I die.36
But, ah ! my dear old friend, ’tis almost over,37
The long, long struggle between pride and pain,38
And neither slandering foe nor doubting lover39
Has power to grieve me any more again :40
For God’s great angel having touched mine eyes,41
I read the meaning of those tears and sighs.42
We shall not meet ; my latest hours are flying ;43
Ere sets yon sun upon the darkened land,44
Yet will I clasp one flower close in dying,45
That you may take it from my cold, still hand,46
And keep it as a sign of wrong forgiven,47
And a mute pledge that we shall meet in heaven.48
Nay, not of wrong forgiven, but as a token49
From a true heart that loved you to the last,50
Whose faith, though sorely tried, was never broken ;51
So you may, turning from that dreary past,52
Look onward, with a firm untroubled brow,53
To the fair land where I am hasting now.54