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Lost In The Mist

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik 1826 (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) – 1887 (Shortlands, London)



THE thin white snow-streaks pencilling
That mountain's shoulder gray,
While in the west the pale green sky
Smiled back the dawning day,
Till from the misty east the sun
Was of a sudden born
Like a new soul in Paradise--
How long it seems since morn!

One little hour, O round red sun,
And thou and I shall come
Unto the golden gate of rest,
The open door of home:
One little hour, O weary sun,
Delay the threatened eve
Till my tired feet that pleasant door
Enter and never leave.

Ye rooks that fly in slender file
Into the thick'ning gloom,
Ye'll scarce have reached your grim gray tower
Ere I have reached my home;
Plover, that thrills the solitude
With such an eerie cry,
Seek you your nest ere night-fall comes,
As my heart's nest seek I.

O light, light heart and heavy feet,
Patience a little while!
Keep the warm love-light in these eyes,
And on these lips the smile:
Out-speed the mist, the gathering mist
That follows o'er the moor!--
The darker grows the world without
The brighter seems that door.
O door, so close yet so far off;
O mist that nears and nears!
What, shall I faint in sight of home?
Blinded--but not with tears--
'T is but the mist, the cruel mist,
Which chills this heart of mine:
These eyes, too weak to see that light--
It has not ceased to shine.

A little further, further yet:
The white mist crawls and crawls;
It hems me around, it shuts me in
Its great sepulchral walls:
No earth--no sky--no path--no light--
A silence like the tomb:
O me, it is too soon to die--
And I was going home!

A little further, further yet:
My limbs are young,--my heart--
O heart, it is not only life
That feels it hard to part:
Poor lips, slow freezing into calm,
Numbed hands that helpless fall,
And, a mile off, warm lips, fond hands,
Waiting to welcome all!

I see the pictures in the room,
The figures moving round,
The very flicker of the fire
Upon the patterned ground:
O that I were the shepherd-dog
That guards their happy door!
Or even the silly household cat
That basks upon the floor!

O that I sat one minute's space
Where I have sat so long!
O that I heard one little word
Sweeter than angel's song!
A pause--and then the table fills,
The harmless mirth brims o'er;
While I--O can it be God's will?--
I die, outside the door.

My body fails--my desperate soul
Struggles before it go:
The bleak air's full of voices wild,
But not the voice I know;
Dim shapes come wandering through the dark:
With mocking, curious stares,
Faces long strange peer glimmering by--
But not one face of theirs.

Lost, lost, and such a little way
From that dear sheltering door!
Lost, lost, out of the loving arms
Left empty evermore!
His will be done. O, gate of heaven,
Fairer than earthly door,
Receive me! Everlasting arms,
Enfold me evermore!

And so, farewell * * * * *
What is this touch
Upon my closing eyes?
My name too, that I thought to hear
Next time in Paradise?
Warm arms--close lips--O, saved, saved, saved!
Across the deathly moor
Sought, found--and yonder through the night
Shineth the blessed door.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:51 min read
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Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Dinah Maria Craik (; born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) was an English novelist and poet. She is best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the mid-Victorian ideals of English middle-class life.  more…

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