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THOU look'd'st on me all yesternight,
Thine eyes were blue, thy hair was bright
As when we murmured our trothplight
Beneath the thick stars, Rosaline!
Thy hair was braided on thy head,
As on the day we two were wed,
Mine eyes scarce knew if thou wert dead,—
my shrunk heart knew, Rosaline!

The deathwatch ticked behind the wall,
The blackness rustled like a pall,
The moaning wind did rise and fall
Among the bleak pines, Rosaline!

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My heart beat thickly in mine ears:
The lids may shut out fleshly fears,

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A wildness rushing suddenly,

A knowing some ill shape is nigh,

A wish for death, a fear to die,
Is not this vengeance, Rosaline?
A loneliness that is not lone,

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,
Strange sounds are out upon the breeze,
And the leaves shiver in the trees,
And then thou comest, Rosaline !
I seem to hear the mourners go,
With long black garments trailing slow,
And plumes anodding to and fro,

As once I heard them, Rosaline!


Thy shroud is all of snowy white,
And, in the middle of the night,
Thou standest moveless and upright,
Gazing upon me, Rosaline!

There is no sorrow in thine eyes,

But evermore that meek surprise,

O, God! thy gentle spirit tries

To deem me guiltless, Rosaline !

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Above thy grave the robin sings,
And swarms of bright and happy things

Flit all about with sunlit wings,

But I am cheerless, Rosaline !

The violets on the hillock toss,

The gravestone is o'ergrown with moss;
For nature feels not any loss, -
But I am cheerless, Rosaline!

Ah! why wast thou so lowly bred ?
Why was my pride galled on to wed
Her who brought lands and gold, instead

Of thy heart's treasure, Rosaline?

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Why did I fear to let thee stay
To look on me and pass away
Forgivingly, as in its May
A broken flower, Rosaline?

I thought not, when my dagger strook,
Of thy blue eyes; I could not brook

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
By the upspringing of a bird,
A drip of blood, were all I heard,—
Then deathly stillness, Rosaline!
The sun rolled down, and very soon,

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,
Each angel from his silver throne

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!

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I waited with a maddened grin

To hear that voice all icy thin
Slide forth and tell my deadly sin
To hell and heaven, Rosaline!
But no voice came, and then it seemed,
That, if the very corpse had screamed,
The sound like sunshine glad had streamed
Through that dark stillness, Rosaline!

Dreams of old quiet glimmered by,
And faces loved in infancy

Came and looked on me mournfully,

Till my heart melted, Rosaline!

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