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About this poet

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard was born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, in 1823. She published both prose and poetry during her lifetime, including Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). She died in 1902.

In the Still, Star-Lit Night

     In the still, star-lit night,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree,
     I walked, and not alone—
A spirit walked with me!

     A shade fell on the grass;
Upon the water fell a deeper shade:
     Something the willow stirred,
For to and fro it swayed.

     The grass was in a quiver,
The water trembled, and the willow-tree
     Sighed softly; I sighed loud—
The spirit taunted me.

     All the night long I walked
By the full fountain, dropping icy tears;
     I tore the willow leaves,
I tore the long, green spears!

     I clutched the quaking grass,
And beat the rough bark of the willow-tree;
     I shook the wreathèd boughs,
To make the spirit flee.

     It haunted me till dawn,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree;
     For with myself I walked—
How could the spirit flee?  

This poem appeared in Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). It is in the public domain.

This poem appeared in Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). It is in the public domain.

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard was born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, in 1823. She published both prose and poetry during her lifetime, including Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). She died in 1902.

by this poet

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Ho, wind of March, speed over sea,
     From mountains where the snows lie deep
     The cruel glaciers threatening creep,
And witness this, my jubilee!

Roar from the surf of boreal isles,
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Let me be merry now, ’t is time;
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     Close up, and form the band.

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     The lamp-light is as clear,
And since the dead are out of sight,
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Come, white angels, to baby and me;
     Touch his blue eyes with the image of sleep,
     In his surprise he will cease to weep;
Hush, child, the angels are coming to thee!

Come, white doves, to baby and me;
     Softly whirr in the silent air,
     Flutter about his golden hair