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Closer and closer my steps
Come to the dark abysm, Closer Death to my lips
Presses the awful chris;
Father, perfect my trust!
Let me feel as I shall, when I stand
Feel as I would, were my feet
Even now slipping over the brink, – For it may be I am nearer home, Nearer now, than I think!
O LAND, of every land the best, —
For the great festival of peace:
Not there, but risen, redeemed, they go Where all the paths are sweet with flowers;
Yet when they set their country free, And gave her traitors fitting doom, They left their last great enemy, Baffled, beside an empty tomb.
They fought to give us peace, and lo! They gained a better peace than ours.
KEITH OF RAVELSTON.
O HAPPY, happy maid,
In the year of war and death She wears no sorrow!
By her face so young and fair,
By the happy wreath
That rules her happy hair,
She might be a bride to-morrow! She sits and sings within her moonlit bower,
Her moonlit bower in rosy June,
Like fragrance from some sweet nightblowing flower,
Moves from her moving lips in many a mournful tune!
She sings no song of love's despair,
Has ever touched or bud or leaf
She sings because she needs must sing;
The murmur of the mourning ghost That keeps the shadowy kine, "O Keith of Ravelston,
The sorrows of thy line!"
The merry path that leads Down the golden morning hill, And through the silver meads;
The stile beneath the tree,