The Angel and the Spirit.

A Spirit once lay sighing1
Beyond that dim unknown,2
Where through long years of penance3
The souls of mortals groan ;4
And still sighed the poor Spirit,—5
A thousand years of pain6
I’d live could I behold once more7
The bright green earth again.8
A thousand years of penance9
In torture I would dwell,10
To see for one brief instant11
Him whom I loved so well.”12
A glance of heavenly pity13
In the Angel’s eye had birth,14
As he bore the weeping Spirit15
Again to the green earth.16
Beneath the broad cool shadow17
Of the waving linden-tree,18
I know mine own love wanders19
Still sorrowing for me.”20
When they neared the ancient lindens,21
Where the pleasant waters flow,22
There sat her heart’s beloved,—23
But he loved another now.24
Beneath the broad cool shadow25
Of their ancient trysting-place,26
A gentle maid reclining27
Was locked in love’s embrace.28
Then through the hapless Spirit29
Sharp pangs of sorrow thrill,30
But the bright Angel gently31
In his dear arms held her still.32
And higher still, and higher,33
They winged their way above,34
Until they neared the portals35
Of heaven’s bright halls of love.36
Then sighed the Spirit, weeping,—37
I may not enter there,38
A thousand years of torture39
’Tis yet my lot to bear.”40
A smile benign and tender41
O’er the Angel’s features stole,42
As he gazed with heavenly pity43
On the fond and hapless soul.44
Poor Spirit, all thy sorrows,45
Thy woes, are o’er at last ;46
In the torture of that moment47
Thy thousand years have past.”48