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.
 
Key Notes (1879)
V. Unfulfilled
By Louisa S. Guggenberger (1845–1895)
 
ERE yet the sunlight caught it where it lay,
  I saw a snow-flake vanish utterly;
I saw a blossom perish on the spray,
  Ere yet its petals opened to the bee:
I heard a yearning dissonance to-day        5
  Fail, ere it found its final harmony.
 
These, symbols: yet—O saddest, and O best
  Of Nature’s unfulfilments!—one hath passed
Unscarred by any heart-strife to her rest
  Who, scarcely fed, gave thanks for life’s repast,        10
And ere love’s first full throb had stirred her breast
  Praised God for love, and smiling, smiled her last.
 
Well! well! such vanishings are breathings stilled
  Ere yet they grew intense, and turned to sighs;
We curse the stern world-providence that willed        15
  The light away from waking baby-eyes;
We sing the dirges of the Unfulfilled,
  We suffer; not the innocence that dies.
 
It dies at our, and not its own expense,
  We loved it, for it was exceeding white;        20
Who knows?—strong draughts of utmost sentience
  Had left it, fevered, in a lurid night!
Better a thousandfold that, lost to sense,
  It lingers yet—the memory of a Light.
 
 
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