Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Legends and Lyrics.
I. Sent to Heaven
By Adelaide Anne Procter (1825–1864)
 
I HAD a Message to send her,
  To her whom my soul loved best;
But I had my task to finish,
  And she was gone home to rest.
 
To rest in the far bright heaven;        5
  Oh, so far away from here,
It was vain to speak to my darling,
  For I knew she could not hear!
 
I had a message to send her
  So tender, and true, and sweet,        10
I longed for an Angel to bear it,
  And lay it down at her feet.
 
I placed it, one summer evening,
  On a Cloudlet’s fleecy breast;
But it faded in golden splendour,        15
  And died in the crimson west.
 
I gave it the Lark next morning,
  And I watched it soar and soar;
But its pinions grew faint and weary,
  And it fluttered to earth once more.        20
 
To the heart of a Rose I told it;
  And the perfume, sweet and rare,
Growing faint on the blue bright ether,
  Was lost in the balmy air.
 
I laid it upon a Censer,        25
  And I saw the incense rise;
But its clouds of rolling silver
  Could not reach the far blue skies.
 
I cried, in my passionate longing:—
  “Has the earth no Angel-friend        30
Who will carry my love the message
  That my heart desires to send?”
 
Then I heard a strain of music,
  So mighty, so pure, so clear,
That my very sorrow was silent,        35
  And my heart stood still to hear.
 
And I felt, in my soul’s deep yearning,
  At last the sure answer stir:—
“The music will go up to Heaven,
  And carry my thought to her.”        40
 
It rose in harmonious rushing
  Of mingled voices and strings,
And I tenderly laid my message
  On the Music’s outspread wings.
 
I heard it float farther and farther,        45
  In sound more perfect than speech;
Farther than sight can follow,
  Farther than soul can reach.
 
And I know that at last my message
  Has passed through the golden gate:        50
So my heart is no longer restless,
  And I am content to wait.
 
 
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