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A poem by Virna Sheard

The Angel

Title:     The Angel
Author: Virna Sheard [More Titles by Sheard]

Down the white ward with slow, unswerving tread
He came ere break of day--
A cowl was drawn about his down-bent head,
His misty robes were grey.

And no man even knew that he went by,
None saw or heard him pass;
Softly he moved as clouds drift down the sky,
Or shadows cross the grass.

Close to a little bed where one lay low,
At last he took his stand,
And touched the head that tossed in restless woe
With gentle, outstretched hand.

"When bitterness," he said, "is at an end,
And joy grows far and dim,
I am the angel whom the Lord doth send
To lead men on to Him.

"Past the innumerable stars, my friend,
Past all the winds that blow,
We, too, must travel to our journey's end.
Arise! And let us go!"

"Stay! Stay!" the other cried. "I know thy face!
Death is thy dreaded name!"
"Nay--I am known as 'Love' in that far place,"
He said, "from whence I came."

But still the other cried, with moan and tear,
"I fear the dark--and thee!"
"There is no dark," the angel said, "nor fear,
For those who go with me.

"There is no loneliness, and nevermore
The shadow-haunted night,
When we pass out beyond Life's swinging door
The road," he said, "is bright."

Then backward slipped the cowl from off his head,
Downward the robe of grey;
A radiant presence by the lowly bed
Greeted the breaking day.

* * * * *

Within the long white ward one lay alone,
None watched by him awhile,
But some who passed him said, in whispered tone,
"See--on his lips--the smile!"

[The end]
Virna Sheard's poem: Angel