The Psyche (Proctor)  (1858) 
by Edna Dean Proctor

The Psyche

 Like a strain of wondrous music rising up in cloister dim,
  Through my life's unwritten measures thou dost steal, a glorious
  All the joys of earth and heaven in the singing meet, and flow
  Richer, sweeter, for the wailing of an undertone of woe.
  How I linger, how I listen for each mellow note that falls,
  Clear as chime of angels floating downward o'er the jasper walls!

  Every night, when winds are moaning round my chamber by the sea,
  Thine's the face that through the darkness latest looks with love at
  And I dream, ere thou departest, thou dost press thy lips to mine;--
  Then I sleep as slept the Immortals after draughts of Hebe's wine!
  And I clasp thee, out of slumber when the rosy day is born,
  As the soul, with rapture waking, clasps the resurrection morn.

  'Twas thy soul-wife, 'twas thy Psyche, one uplifted, radiant day,
  Thou didst call me;--how divinely on thy brow Love's glory lay!
  Thou my Cupid,--not the boy-god whom the Thespians did adore,
  But the man, so large, so noble, truer god than Venus bore.
  I thy Psyche;--yet what blackness in this thread of gold is wove!
  Thou canst never, never lead me, proud, before the throne of Jove!
  All the gods might toil to help thee through the longest summer
  Still would watch the fatal Sisters, spinning in the twilight gray;
  And their calm and silent faces, changeless looking through the
  From eternity, would answer, "Thou canst ne'er escape thy doom!"
  Couldst thou clasp me, couldst thou claim me, 'neath the soft
       Elysian skies,
  Then what music and what odor through their azure depths would rise!
  Roses all the Hours would scatter, every god would bring us joy,
  So, in perfect loving blended, bliss would never know alloy!

  O my heart! the vision changes; fades the soft celestial blue;
  Dies away the rapturous music, thrilling all my pulses through!
  Lone I sit within my chamber; storms are beating 'gainst the pane,
  And my tears are falling faster than the chill December rain;--
  Yet, though I am doomed to linger, joyless, on this earthly shore,
  Thou art Cupid!--I am Psyche!--we are wedded evermore!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1923, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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