Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FACE, by EBENEZER JONES

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THE FACE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: These dreary hours of hopeless gloom
Last Line: God still must find alone my prayer.
Subject(s): Despair; Faces

THESE dreary hours of hopeless gloom
Are all of life I fain would know;
I would but feel my life consume,
While bring they back mine ancient woe;
For, midst the clouds of grief and shame
That crowd around, one face I see;
It is the face I dare not name,
The face none ever name to me.

I saw it first when in the dance
Borne, like a falcon, down the hall,
He stay'd to cure some rude mischance
My girlish deeds had caused to fall;
He smil'd, he danced with me, he made
A thousand ways to soothe my pain;
And sleeplessly all night I pray'd
That I might see that smile again.

I saw it next, a thousand times;
And every time its kind smile near'd;
Oh! twice ten thousand glorious chimes
My heart rang out, when he appear'd;
What was I then, that others' thought
Could alter so my thought of him;
That I could be by others taught
His image from my heart to dim!

I saw it last, when black and white
Shadows went struggling o'er it wild;
When he regain'd my long-lost sight,
And I with cold obeisance smil'd; --
I did not see it fade from life;
My letters o'er his heart they found;
They told me in death's last hard strife
His dying hands around them wound.

Although my scorn that face did maim,
Even when its love would not depart;
Although my laughter smote its shame
And drave it swording through his heart;
Although its death-gloom grasps my brain
With crushing unrefus'd despair;
That I may dream that face again
God still must find alone my prayer.

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