Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A LADY'S PORTRAIT, by SAMUEL VALENTINE COLE



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A LADY'S PORTRAIT, by            
First Line: At last, with all its silent grace
Last Line: The vision of this lady's face.
Subject(s): Alexander, John White (1856-1915); Paintings & Painters; Portraits; Wheaton, Eliza Baylies (1809-1905)


AT last, with all its silent grace,
Amid the blossoms of the May
There breaks upon our eyes to-day
This vision of a lady's face.

You know her? Ay, you need not tell:
A thousand daughters in the land
Have known the welcome of that hand,
And felt its pressure of farewell.

What benedictions in her gaze,
What memories hover around her chair,
As, sitting in the sunset there,
She wears the crown of well spent days!

O little birds that come to bless
Our woodlands, round her doorway sing;
Beneath her windows, flowers of spring,
Lift up to her your loveliness.

For she, in many a heart of need,
Hath put a song in place of tears,
And scattered down these golden years
The flower of many a kindly deed.

Lo, like a seed upon the ground,
There fell a thought once from her heart;
If you would know how large the part
That thought has stood for, look around!

For one who loved her planted it;
One cherished it for what might be;
She watched the seed become the Tree
Beneath whose grateful shade we sit.

A thousand daughters did I say?
Ah! as I see the lengthening line
Far down the future's pathway shine,
And pass, and still not pass away,

I cannot count them! Come and go
They will forever; grove and hall
And each familiar scene they all
Will cherish; and the Tree will grow.

But when, in some remoter hour,
Strangers behold how great the task
Accomplished, and are moved to ask
Whence came the impulse and the power,

Then silently, within this place
Of such beginnings, there will rise,
For answer to their wondering eyes,
The vision of this lady's face.





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