Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  At the Last

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Philip Bourke Marston 1850–87

At the Last

BECAUSE the shadows deepen’d verily,—

Because the end of all seem’d near, forsooth,—

Her gracious spirit, ever quick to ruth,

Had pity on her bond-slave, even on me.

She came in with the twilight noiselessly,

Fair as a rose, immaculate as Truth;

She lean’d above my wreck’d and wasted youth;

I felt her presence, which I could not see.

“God keep you, my poor friend,” I heard her say;

And then she kiss’d my dry, hot lips and eyes.

Kiss thou the next kiss, quiet Death, I pray;

Be instant on this hour, and so surprise

My spirit while the vision seems to stay;

Take thou the heart with the heart’s Paradise.