1She lay, face downward, on her beaded arm,
2In this her new, sweet dream of human bliss,
3Her heart within her fearful, fluttering, warm,
4Her lips yet pained with love's first timorous kiss.
5She did not note the darkening afternoon,
6She did not mark the lowering of the sky
7O'er that great city. Earth had given its boon
8Unto her lips, love touched her and passed by.
9In one dread moment all the sky grew dark,
10The hideous rain, the panic, the red rout,
11Where love lost love, and all the world might mark
12The city overwhelmed, blotted out
13Without one cry, so quick oblivion came,
14And life passed to the black where all forget;
15But she,—we know not of her house or name,—
16In love's sweet musings doth lie dreaming yet.
17The dread hell passed, the ruined world grew still,
18And the great city passed to nothingness:
19The ages went and mankind worked its will.
20Then men stood still amid the centuries' press,
21And in the ash-hid ruins opened bare,
22As she lay down in her shamed loveliness,
23Sculptured and frozen, late they found her there,
24Image of love 'mid all that hideousness.
25Her head, face downward, on her bended arm,
26Her single robe that showed her shapely form,
27Her wondrous fate love keeps divinely warm
28Over the centuries, past the slaying storm,
29The heart can read in writings time hath left,
30That linger still through death's oblivion;
31And in this waste of life and light bereft,
32She brings again a beauty that had gone.
33And if there be a day when all shall wake,
34As dreams the hoping, doubting human heart,
35The dim forgetfulness of death will break
36For her as one who sleeps with lips apart;
37And did God call her suddenly, I know
38She'd wake as morning wakened by the thrush,
39Feel that red kiss across the centuries glow,
40And make all heaven rosier by her blush.
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