Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  In Saint Joseph’s

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

In Saint Joseph’s

By Thomas William Parsons (1819–1892)

[From Circum Præcordia: The Collects of the Holy Catholic Church. 1892.]

WHILE the priest said “perpetua luceat,”

Sprinkling the palms that graced a maiden’s bier,

I felt a light stream in upon my soul;

And one that near me in the chancel sate,

Who was to the departed soul most dear,

Saw the same light as my hand softly stole

To hers, and suddenly a glory played

Around those palms that seemed to check my breath:

Even as he prayed for light the darkness fled

To both of us: I looked into her eyes

And saw through tears a raptured look that said

A strength new-born doth in my spirit rise,

And though before me lies my sister dead

I also feel the life that lives in death.