Last night I dreamed of thee, beloved!
I held that tiny hand,—
Encircled by my clasping arm
Once more I saw thee stand,—
The blush so faint, yet fairly traced,
Rose to thy changing cheek—
As when upon thy brows were placed
Farewells I could not speak.
Thine eyes were filled with softened light,
But welcomes now I read,
As to my heart, by love's fond sight.
I gently drew thy head;
And oh, so eloquent were they—
So full of earnest truth,—
I knew what fain thy heart would say,
The promise of thy youth.
I knew that thou hadst faithful been
To vows of long ago:
That speeding time, and changing scene,
No change in thee could show,
That absence had but bound thy love
More firmly to its choice—
It needed not one word to prove,
One sound of thy loved voice.
Yes, silent was that long embrace,
Though tears flowed fast and free.
As gazing down in that dear face,
I read thy love for me;
And thought of all the lonely hours
When I had wildly yearned
To press thee thus unto my heart,
And feel my kiss returned.
Those midnight hours! by sea and land!
How heavily they sped!
Sometimes upon a surf-beat strand
My weary feet would tread,
And when the stars looked calmly down
From cloudless foreign skies—
Their soft light seemed a radiance thrown
From these pure, earnest eyes.
'Twas but a dream! the light breeze swept
Soft touches o'er my brow;
The spray's cold kiss my lips had met,
Oh, still afar art thou!
'Twas but a dream! and yet I heard
Thy murmured—"Art thou come!"—
Then woke, to feel my spirit stirred
With these dear "sounds from home."