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(30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848 / Thornton / Yorkshire)

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Come hither, child

Come hither, child--who gifted thee
With power to touch that string so well?
How darest thou rouse up thoughts in me,
Thoughts that I would--but cannot quell?

Nay, chide not, lady; long ago
I heard those notes in Ula's hall,
And had I known they'd waken woe
I'd weep their music to recall.

But thus it was: one festal night
When I was hardly six years old
I stole away from crowds and light
And sought a chamber dark and cold.

I had no one to love me there,
I knew no comrade and no friend;
And so I went to sorrow where
Heaven, only heaven saw me bend.

Loud blew the wind; 'twas sad to stay
From all that splendour barred away.
I imaged in the lonely room
A thousand forms of fearful gloom.

And with my wet eyes raised on high
I prayed to God that I might die.
Suddenly in that silence drear
A sound of music reached my ear,

And then a note, I hear it yet,
So full of soul, so deeply sweet,
I thought that Gabriel's self had come
To take me to thy father's home.

Three times it rose, that seraph strain,
Then died, nor breathed again;
But still the words and still the tone
Dwell round my heart when all alone.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: music, heaven, lonely, sorrow, silence, father, sad, power, rose, child, friend, home, wind, alone, dark, light, god, night, children

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