Author: Owen Meredith


From these
Oppressive, and comfortless, blank reveries,
Unable to sleep, she descended the stair
That led from her room to the garden.
The air,
With the chill of the dawn, yet unris’n, but at hand,
Strangely smote on her feverish forehead. The land
Lay in darkness and change, like a world in its grave:
No sound, save the voice of the long river wave
And the crickets that sing all the night!
She stood still,
Vaguely watching the thin cloud that curl’d on the hill.
Emotions, long pent in her breast, were at stir,
And the deeps of the spirit were troubled in her.
Ah, pale woman! what, with that heart-broken look,
Didst thou read then in nature’s weird heart-breaking book?
Have the wild rains of heaven a father? and who
Hath in pity begotten the drops of the dew?
Orion, Arcturus, who pilots them both?
What leads forth in his season the bright Mazaroth?
Hath the darkness a dwelling,—save there, in those eyes?
And what name hath that half-reveal’d hope in the skies?
Ay, question, and listen! What answer?
The sound
Of the long river wave through its stone-troubled bound,
And the crickets that sing all the night.
There are hours
Which belong to unknown, supernatural powers,
Whose sudden and solemn suggestions are all
That to this race of worms,—stinging creatures, that crawl,
Lie, and fear, and die daily, beneath their own stings,—
Can excuse the blind boast of inherited wings.
When the soul, on the impulse of anguish, hath pass’d
Beyond anguish, and risen into rapture at last;
When she traverses nature and space, till she stands
In the Chamber of Fate; where, through tremulous hands,
Hum the threads from an old-fashion’d distaff uncurl’d,
And those three blind old women sit spinning the world.


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Chicago: Owen Meredith, "2," Lucile, ed. Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Lucile (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed May 28, 2024,

MLA: Meredith, Owen. "2." Lucile, edited by Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Lucile, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 28 May. 2024.

Harvard: Meredith, O, '2' in Lucile, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Lucile, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 28 May 2024, from