To Keep the Memory of Charlotte Forten Grimke

Angelina Weld Grimké

Still are there wonders of the dark and day;
The muted shrillings of shy things at night,
So small beneath the stars and moon;
The peace, dream-frail, but perfect while the light
Lies softly on the leaves at noon.
These are, and these will be
Until Eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Each dawn, while yet the east is veiléd grey,
The birds about her window wake and sing;
And far away each day some lark
I know is singing where the grasses swing;
Some robin calls and calls at dark.
These are, and these will be
Until Eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

The wild flowers that she loved down green ways stray;
Her roses lift their wistful buds at dawn,
But not for eyes that loved them best;
Only her little pansies are all gone,
Some lying softly on her breast.
And flowers will bud and be
Until Eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Where has she gone? And who is there to say?
But this we know: her gentle spirit moves
And is where beauty never wanes,
Perchance by other streams, mid other groves;
And to us here, ah! she remains
A lovely memory,
Until Eternity;
She came, she loved, and then she went away.

More by Angelina Weld Grimké

El Beso

Twilight—and you
Quiet—the stars; 
Snare of the shine of your teeth, 
Your provocative laughter, 
The gloom of your hair; 
Lure of you, eye and lip; 
Yearning, yearning, 
Languor, surrender; 
Your mouth, 
And madness, madness, 
Tremulous, breathless, flaming, 
The space of a sigh; 
Then awakening—remembrance, 
Pain, regret—your sobbing; 
And again, quiet—the stars, 
Twilight—and you. 

To Joseph Lee

How strange, how passing strange, when we awake
        And lift our faces to the light
To know that you are lying shut away
        Within the night.

How strange, how passing strange, when we lie down
        To sleep, to know that you are quite
Alone beneath the moon, the stars, the little leaves,
        Within the night.

How strange, how passing strange to know—our eyes
        Will gladden at the fine sweet sight
Of you no more, for now your face is hid
        Within the night.

Strange, strange indeed, these things to us appear
        And yet we know they must be right;
And though your body sleeps, your soul has passed
        Beyond the night.

Ah! friend, it must be sweet to slip from out
        The tears, the pain, the losing fight
Below, and rest, just rest eternally
        Beyond the night.

And sweet it must be too, to know the kiss
        Of Peace, of Peace, the pure, the white
And step beside her hand in hand quite close
        Beyond the night.