The Two Interpreters by Adelaide Anne Procter

“The clouds are fleeting by, father,
Look in the shining west,
The great white clouds sail onward
Upon the sky’s blue breast.
Look at a snowy eagle,
His wings are tinged with red,
And a giant dolphin follows him,
With a crown upon his head!”

The father spake no word, but watched
The drifting clouds roll by;
He traced a misty vision too
Upon the shining sky:
A shadowy form, with well-known grace
Of weary love and care,
Above the smiling child she held,
Shook down her floating hair.

“The clouds are changing now, father,
Mountains rise higher and higher!
And see where red and purple ships
Sail in a sea of fire!”
The father pressed the little hand
More closely in his own,
And watched a cloud-dream in the sky
That he could see alone:
Bright angels carrying far away
A white form, cold and dead,
Two held the feet, and two bore up
The flower-crowned, drooping head.

“See, father, see! a glory floods
The sky, and all is bright,
And clouds of every hue and shade
Burn in the golden light.
And now, above an azure lake,
Rise battlements and towers,
Where knights and ladies climb the heights,
All bearing purple flowers.”

The father looked, and, with a pang
Of love and strange alarm,
Drew close the little eager child
Within his sheltering arm;
From out the clouds the mother looks
With wistful glance below,
She seems to seek the treasure left
On earth so long ago;
She holds her arms out to her child,
His cradle-song she sings:
The last rays of the sunset gleam
Upon her outspread wings.

See also  Faith and Despondency by Emily Bronte

Calm twilight veils the summer sky,
The shining clouds are gone;
In vain the merry laughing child
Still gaily prattles on;
In vain the bright stars, one by one,
On the blue silence start,
A dreary shadow rests to-night
Upon the father’s heart

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