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

William James Dawson b. 1854

The Angel at the Ford

I SOUGHT to hold her, but within her eyes

I read a new strange meaning; faint they prayed,

“Oh, let me pass and taste the great surprise;

Behold me not reluctant nor afraid!”

“Nay, I will strive with God for this!” I cried,

“As man with man, like Jacob at the brook,

Only be thou, dear heart, upon my side!”

“Be still,” she answered, “very still, and look!”

And straightway I discerned with inward dread

The multitudinous passing of white souls,

Who paused, each one with sad averted head,

And flashing of indignant aureoles.