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Footsteps of Angels

Written by: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Biography
 | Quotes (130) |
WHEN the hours of Day are numbered  
And the voices of the Night 
Wake the better soul that slumbered  
To a holy calm delight; 

Ere the evening lamps are lighted 5 
And like phantoms grim and tall  
Shadows from the fitful firelight 
Dance upon the parlor wall; 

Then the forms of the departed 
Enter at the open door; 10 
The beloved the true-hearted  
Come to visit me once more; 

He the young and strong who cherished 
Noble longings for the strife  
By the roadside fell and perished 15 
Weary with the march of life! 

They the holy ones and weakly  
Who the cross of suffering bore  
Folded their pale hands so meekly  
Spake with us on earth no more! 20 

And with them the Being Beauteous  
Who unto my youth was given  
More than all things else to love me  
And is now a saint in heaven. 

With a slow and noiseless footstep 25 
Comes that messenger divine  
Takes the vacant chair beside me  
Lays her gentle hand in mine. 

And she sits and gazes at me 
With those deep and tender eyes 30 
Like the stars so still and saint-like  
Looking downward from the skies. 

Uttered not yet comprehended  
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer  
Soft rebukes in blessings ended 35 
Breathing from her lips of air. 

Oh though oft depressed and lonely  
All my fears are laid aside  
If I but remember only 
Such as these have lived and died! 40