Achingly poignant with its imagery of loss, this sonnet was written in 1886.
"The Cross of Snow"
In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
- A gentle face--the face of one long dead--
- Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
- The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
- Never through martyrdom of fire was led
- To its repose; nor can in books be read
- The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
- That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
- Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
- These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
- And seasons, changeless since the day she died.
Rhyme scheme: abba abba cde cde