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Theodosia Garrison

At first cock-crow the ghosts must go
Back to their quiet graves below.

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The April Boughs

It was not then her heart broke—
That moment when she knew
That all her faith held holiest
Was utterly untrue.

It was not then her heart broke—
That night of prayer and tears
When first she dared the thought of life
Through all the empty years.

But when beneath the April boughs
She felt the blossoms stir,
The careless mirth of yesterday
Came near and smiled at her.

Old singing lingered in the wind,
Old joy came close again,
Oh, underneath the April boughs,
I think her heart broke then.

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The Wedding Gown

She put her wedding-gown away
As tenderly as one might close,
With kissing lips and finger-tips,
The petals of a rose
Still held for the Belovèd's sake—
The loveliest that blows.

She put her wedding-gown away
The quiet place was all astir
With vague perfume that filled the room,
Cedar and lavender,
Yet sweeter still about it clung
The fragrant thoughts of her.

She put her wedding-gown away
Yet lingered where its whiteness gleamed
As one above a sleeping Love,
Oh, thus it was she seemed,
Reluctant still to turn and go
And leave him as he dreamed.

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The New Spring

The long grief left her old—and then
Came love and made her young again
As though some newer, gentler Spring
Should start dead roses blossoming;
Old roses that have lain full long
In some forgotten book of song,
Brought from their darkness to be one
With lilting winds and rain and sun;
And as they too might bring away
From that dim volume where they lay
Some lyric hint, some song's perfume
To add its beauty to their bloom,
So love awakes her heart that lies
Shrouded in fragrant memories,
And bids it bloom again and wake
Sweeter for that old sorrow's sake.

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Orchards

Orchards in the Spring-time! Oh, I think and think of them,—
Filmy mists of pink and white above the fresh, young green,
Lifting and drifting,—how my eyes could drink of them,
I'm staring at a dirty wall beyond a big machine.

Orchards in the Spring-time! Deep in soft, cool shadows,—
Moving all together when the west wind blows
Fragrance upon fragrance over road and meadows—
I'm smelling heat and oil and sweat, and thick, black clothes.

Orchards in the Spring-time! The clean white and pink of them
Lifting and drifting with all the winds that blow.
Orchards in the Spring-time! Thank God I still can think of them!
You're not docked for thinking, — if the foreman doesn't know.

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Stains

The three ghosts on the lonesome road
   Spake each to one another,
"Whence came that stain about your mouth
   No lifted hand may cover?"
"From eating of forbidden fruit,
   Brother, my brother."

The three ghosts on the sunless road
   Spake each to one another,
"Whence came that red burn on your foot
   No dust nor ash may cover?"
"I stamped a neighbor's hearth-flame out,
   Brother, my brother."

The three ghosts on the windless road
   Spake each to one another,
"Whence came that blood upon your hand
   No other hand may cover?"
"From breaking of a woman's heart,
   Brother, my brother."

[...] Read more

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