Henry Clay Work

1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut

The Mystic Veil

When the shadows take their nightly places,
When departing light is faint and pale,
Then in my chamber gather phantom faces,
Gazing thro' the mystic veil.
One there is with features so familiar,
Glimpse of her give my pulse a start;
Oh! tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonly heart?

Come one step nearer! (One step nearer!)
one shade clearer? (one shade clearer!)
Breath on word before we part; (before we part;)
And tell me--truly it is you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?

When my song, in lonely notes ascending,
Vainly bids my sadden'd soul rejoin ,
Methinks I hear a murmur'd alto blending:
Is it really your sweet voice?
Answer now, if only by a whisper;
Rend the veil, the mystic veil, apart:
And tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?

Waking while the denser darkness lingers,
Some one seems to stand beside my bed;
I can but think I feel your fairy fingers,
Softly laid upon my head.
Silently why does the vision vanish?
Dream I yet, or is it magic art?
Now tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?
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