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The tidal wave of deeper souk
Into our inmost being rolls,

And lifts us unawares

Out of all meaner cares.

Honor to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,
And by their overflow
Raise us from what is low!

Thus thought I, as by night I read
Of the great army of the dead,
The trenches cold and damp,
The starved and frozen camp,—

The wounded from the battle-plain,
In dreary hospitals of pain,

The cheerless corridors,

The cold and stony floors.

Lo! in that house of misery

A lady with a lamp I see

Pass through the glimmering gloom.
And flit from room to room.

And slow, as in a dream of bliss,
The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
Her shadow, as it falls
Upon the darkening walls.

As if a door in heaven should be
Opened and then closed suddenly,
The vision came and went,
The light shone an3 was spent.

On England's annals, through the long
Hereafter of her speech and song,
That light its rays shall cast
From portals of the past.

A Lady with a Lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,

A noble type of good,

Heroic womanhood.

Nor even shall be wanting here
The palm, the lily, and the spear,

The symbols that of yore

Saint Filomena bore.

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Of the limitless realms of the air,— Have you read it,—the marvellous story Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,

Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer?

How, erect, at the outermost gates
Of the City Celestial he waits,

With his feet on the ladder of light, That, crowded with angels unnumbered, By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered

Alone in the desert at night?

The Angels of Wind and of Fire
Chaunt only one hymn, and expire

With the song's irresistible stress;
Expire in their rapture and wonder,
As harp-strings are broken asunder

By music they throb to express.

But serene in the rapturous throng,
Unmoved by the rush of the song,

With eyes uuimpassioned and slow, Among the dead angels, the deathless Sandalphon stands listening breathless

To sounds that ascend from below;—

From the spirits on earth that adore,
From the souls that entreat and implore

In the fervor and passion of prayer; From the hearts that are broken with losses, And weary with dragging the crosses

Too heavy for mortals to bear.

And he gathers the prayers as he stands, And they change into flowers in his hands,

Into garlands of purple and red; And beneath the great arch of the portal, Through the streets of the City Immortal

Is wafted the fragrance they shed.

It is but a legend, I know,
A fable, a phantom, a show,

Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
Yet the old mediasval tradition,
The beautiful, strange superstition,

But haunts me and holds me the more.

When I look from my window at night,
And the welkin above is all white,
All throbbing and panting with stars,

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