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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WAITING, by                    
First Line: "listening, yearning / while the lingering, lengthening shadows"
Last Line: Down from heaven for thy returning
Subject(s): Waiting

LISTENING, yearning,
While the lingering, lengthening shadows
Link the twilight to the day,
While the dewy breath of evening,
Sweet with balm from far away,
Sways the drooping passion-flower
Clinging to my lonely bower,
Where I sit, heart-sore and weary,
Facing the sad sight so dreary;
Listening, yearning
For a step that 's ne'er returning.

Listening, yearning --
Oh, sad heart, be stilled thy moaning, --
Suns may wane and months may roll,
Years may glide in silent sorrow
O'er the hope that mocks my soul.
Hush thy wail -- let no sharp crying
Strike upon the dumb hours, flying,
While I sit, 'mid shadows falling,
Hoping, heark'ning, watching, calling,
Listening, yearning
For a wanderer's step returning.

Listening, yearning --
Oh, the night grows cold and dreary,
Loud the chill wind moans and sighs --
Ghostly faces, wan and eerie,
Haunt me with their pitying eyes;
Ghosts of dead hopes yet remaining --
With their sad eyes still complaining
Though their mute lips make no wailing,
Ah, lone watch so unavailing!
Listening, yearning
For a dear one's step returning.

Listening, yearning --
Bleak the night, and storm-clouds gather,
Light grows dim, and hope grows cold;
Closer press the pitying spectres --
Ah! they clasp me in their fold.
Life was mournful -- death is sweeter --
Memory maketh love completer.
Dear, through evening shadows falling,
Nevermore I wait thee, calling,
Listening, yearning
For thy step too late returning.

Listening, yearning --
O'er the battlements celestial,
See the pure-browed seraphs lean
Earthward, keeping calms of silence,
Waves of pulsing songs between.
Oh, by Love Divine once yearning
O'er a world, Love's call proud spurning,
Love for loss full compensating, --
I adjure thee, seek me, waiting,
Listening, yearning,
Down from heaven for thy returning.

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