Cordula's Web. ONMT. House Interior, Valle du M'Goun, Haut-Atlas, Morocco.
ONMT. House Interior, Valle du M'Goun, High-Atlas. HiRes. Gallery 33

Only A Dream

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

"I waked, she fled: and day brought back my night."
-- John Milton. Sonnet XXIII.

Methought I saw thee yesternight
Sit by me in the olden guise,
The white robes and the pain foregone,
Weaving instead of amaranth crown
A web of mortal dyes.

I cried, "Where hast thou been so long?"
(The mild eyes turned and mutely smiled:)
"Why dwellest thou in far-off lands?
What is that web within thy hands?"
"I work for thee, my child."

I clasped thee in my arms and wept;
I kissed thee oft with passion wild:
I poured fond questions, tender blame;
Still thy sole answer was the same,
"I work for thee, my child."

"Come and walk with me as of old."
Then camest thou, silent as before;
We passed along that churchyard way
We used to tread each Sabbath day,
Till one trod earth no more.

I felt thy hand upon my arm,
Beside me thy meek face I saw,
Yet through the sweet familiar grace
A something spiritual could trace
That left a nameless awe.

Trembling I said, "Long years have passed
Since thou wert from my side beguiled;
Now thou'rt returned and all shall be
As was before." Half-pensively
Thou answered'st, "Nay, my child."

I pleaded sore: "Hadst thou forgot
The love wherewith we loved of old,
The long sweet days of converse blest,
The nights of slumber on thy breast,
Wert thou to me grown cold?"

There beamed on me those eyes of heaven
That wept no more, but ever smiled;
"Love only is love in that Home
Where I abide, where, till thou come,
I work for thee, my child."

If from my sight thou passedst then,
Or if my sobs the dream exiled,
I know not: but in memory clear
I seem these strange words still to hear,
"I work for thee, my child."

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