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A Dream

 I heard the dogs howl in the moonlight night; 
I went to the window to see the sight;
All the Dead that ever I knew 
Going one by one and two by two.
On they pass'd, and on they pass'd; Townsfellows all, from first to last; Born in the moonlight of the lane, Quench'd in the heavy shadow again.
Schoolmates, marching as when they play'd At soldiers once - but now more staid; Those were the strangest sight to me Who were drown'd, I knew, in the awful sea.
Straight and handsome folk, bent and weak, too; Some that I loved, and gasp'd to speak to; Some but a day in their churchyard bed; Some that I had not known were dead.
A long, long crowd - where each seem'd lonely, Yet of them all there was one, one only, Raised a head or look'd my way; She linger'd a moment - she might not stay.
How long since I saw that fair pale face! Ah! Mother dear! might I only place My head on thy breast, a moment to rest, While thy hand on my tearful cheek were prest! On, on, a moving bridge they made Across the moon-stream, from shade to shade, Young and old, women and men; Many long-forgot, but remembered then, And first there came a bitter laughter; A sound of tears a moment after; And then a music so lofty and gay, That eve morning, day by day, I strive to recall it if I may.

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