Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Personal Poems
In Peace
 
A TRACK of moonlight on a quiet lake,
  Whose small waves on a silver-sanded shore
Whisper of peace, and with the low winds make
Such harmonies as keep the woods awake,
And listening all night long for their sweet sake;        5
  A green-waved slope of meadow, hovered o’er
By angel-troops of lilies, swaying light
On viewless stems, with folded wings of white;
A slumberous stretch of mountain-land, far seen
Where the low westering day, with gold and green,        10
Purple and amber, softly blended, fills
The wooded vales, and melts among the hills;
A vine-fringed river, winding to its rest
  On the calm bosom of a stormless sea,
Bearing alike upon its placid breast,        15
With earthly flowers and heavenly stars impressed,
  The hues of time and of eternity:
Such are the pictures which the thought of thee,
O friend, awakeneth,—charming the keen pain
  Of thy departure, and our sense of loss        20
Requiting with the fullness of thy gain.
  Lo! on the quiet grave thy life-borne cross,
Dropped only at its side, methinks doth shine,
Of thy beatitude the radiant sign!
  No sob of grief, no wild lament be there,        25
  To break the Sabbath of the holy air;
But, in their stead, the silent-breathing prayer
Of hearts still waiting for a rest like thine.
O spirit redeemed! Forgive us, if henceforth,
With sweet and pure similitudes of earth,        30
  We keep thy pleasant memory freshly green,
Of love’s inheritance a priceless part,
  Which Fancy’s self, in reverent awe, is seen
To paint, forgetful of the tricks of art,
  With pencil dipped alone in colors of the heart.

  1851.
        35
 
 
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