On the Death of a Young Girl

On the Death of a Young Girl
by Nathaniel Parker Willis
616574On the Death of a Young GirlNathaniel Parker Willis

'Tis difficult to feel that she is dead.
Her presence, like the shadow of a wing
That is just lessening in the upper sky,
Lingers upon us. We can hear her voice,
And for her step we listen, and the eye
Looks for her wonted coming with a strange,
Forgetful earnestness. We cannot feel
That she will no more come—that from her cheek
The delicate flush has faded, and the light
Dead in her soft dark eye, and on her lip,
That was so exquisitely pure, the dew
Of the damp grave has fallen! Who so loved,
Is left among the living? Who hath walk'd
The world with such a winning loveliness,
And on its bright brief journey gather'd up
Such treasures of affection? She was loved
Only as idols are. She was the pride
Of her familiar sphere—the daily joy
Of all who on her gracefulness might gaze,
And in the light and music of her way,
Have a companion's portion. Who could feel,
While looking upon beauty such as hers,
That it would ever perish? It is like
The melting of a star into the sky
While you are gazing on it, or a dream
In its most ravishing sweetness rudely broken.