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THOU look'd'st on me all yesternight,
The deathwatch ticked behind the wall,
My heart beat thickly in mine ears:
A wildness rushing suddenly,
A knowing some ill shape is nigh,
A wish for death, a fear to die,
A love quite withered up and gone,
A strong soul trampled from its throne,— What wouldst thou further, Rosaline?
"T is drear such moonless nights as these,
As once I heard them, Rosaline!
Thy shroud is all of snowy white,
There is no sorrow in thine eyes,
But evermore that meek surprise,
O, God! thy gentle spirit tries
To deem me guiltless, Rosaline !
Above thy grave the robin sings,
Flit all about with sunlit wings,
But I am cheerless, Rosaline !
The violets on the hillock toss,
The gravestone is o'ergrown with moss;
Ah! why wast thou so lowly bred ?
Of thy heart's treasure, Rosaline?
Why did I fear to let thee stay
I thought not, when my dagger strook,
The past all pleading in one look
Of utter sorrow, Rosaline !
I did not know when thou wast dead;
A blackbird whistling overhead
Thrilled through my brain; I would have fled, But dared not leave thee, Rosaline!
A low, low moan, a light twig stirred
Like a great fire, the awful moon
Rose, stained with blood, and then a swoon
Crept chilly o'er me, Rosaline!
The stars came out; and, one by one,
Looked down and saw what I had done:
I dared not hide me,
I crouched; I feared thy corpse would cry
Against me to God's quiet sky,
I thought I saw the blue lips try
To utter something, Rosaline!
I waited with a maddened grin
To hear that voice all icy thin
Dreams of old quiet glimmered by,
Came and looked on me mournfully,
Till my heart melted, Rosaline!