The Widow


GRIEF hath pacified her face;
Even hope might share so still a place;
Yet, on the silence of her heart,
Haply, if a strange footfall start,
Or a chance word of ecstasy
Cry through dim cloistered memory,
Into her eyes her soul will steal
To gaze into the irrevocable --
As if death had not power to keep
One who has loved her long asleep.
Now all things lovely she looks on
Seem lovely in oblivion;
And all things mute what shall not be
Richer than any melody.
Her narrow hands, like birds that make
A nest for some old instinct's sake,
Have hollowed a refuge for her face --
A narrow and a quiet place --
Where, far from the world's light, she may
See clearer what is passed away.
And only little children know
Through what dark gates her smile may go.


- Walter De La Mare





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