Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1027. A Dream of Death
 
Helena
 
By Lucy White Jennison (“Owen Innsley”)
 
 
“Du hast mich beschworen aus dem Grab”
 
 
I DIED; they wrapped me in a shroud,
With hollow mourning, far too loud,
And sighs that were but empty sound,
And laid me low within the ground.
I felt her tears through all the rest;        5
Past sheet and shroud they reached my breast;
They warmed to life the frozen clay,
And I began to smile and say:
      At last thou lov’st me, Helena!
 
I rose up in the dead of night;        10
I sought her window;—’t was alight.
A pebble clattered ’gainst the pane,—
“Who’s there? the wind and falling rain?”
“Ah! no; but one thy tears have led
To leave his chill and narrow bed        15
To warm himself before thy breath;
Who for thy sake has conquered death.
      Arise, and love me, Helena!”
 
She oped the door, she drew me in.
Her mouth was pale, her cheek was thin;        20
Her eyes were dim; its length unrolled,
Fell loosely down her hair of gold.
My presence wrought her grief’s eclipse;
She pressed her lips upon my lips,
She held me fast in her embrace,        25
Her hands went wandering o’er my face:
      At last thou lov’st me, Helena!
 
The days are dark, the days are cold,
And heavy lies the churchyard mould.
But ever, at the deep of night,        30
Their faith the dead and living plight.
Who would not die if certain bliss
Could be foreknown? and such as this
No life—away! the hour is nigh,
With heart on fire she waits my cry:        35
      Arise, and love me, Helena!
 

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