Once, I remember, when we were at home
I had come into church, and waited late,
Ere lastly kneeling to communicate
Alone : and thinking that you would not come.
Then, with closed eyes (having received the Host)
I prayed for your dear self, and turned to rise ;
When lo ! beside me like a blessed ghost —
Nay, a grave sunbeam — you I Scarcely my eyes
Could credit it, so softly had you come
Beside me as I thought I walked alone.
Thus long ago ; but now, when fate bereaves
Life of old joys, how often as I'm kneeling
To take the Blessed Sacrifice that weaves
Life's tangled threads, so broken to man's seeing,
Into one whole ; I have the sudden feeling
That you are by, and look to see a face
Made in fair flesh beside me, and all my being
Thrills with the old sweet wonder and faint fear
As in that sabbath hour — how long ago ! —
When you had crept so lightly to your place.
Then, then, I know
(My heart can always tell) that you are near.