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The sweetest hour in all love's wond'rous story,
When Hope first whispers of the coming glory.

A sudden strange unfolding
In the cheerful noontide glare;
A sudden passionate heaving
In the bosom of the air.


The sense of something coming,
Mysterious and dread,
The lightning for its crowning,
The thunder for its tread.


A whisper in the breezes
One has not heard before;
A longing in the billow,
A yearning in the shore.


A bubbling up of life
From every wayside thing;
A meaning in the dip
Of even a swallow's wing.


A fear as if the morrow
Would ope some hidden portal;
A joy as if the feet
Stood at the gate immortal.


An angel in the pathway
To every common goal,
A widening of the outlook
That opens on the soul.


A sound of song at midnight,
A mist of dreams at noon;
A tear upon the eyelash,
The lips' smile might impugn.


A coming back of childhood,
When morning suns are bright,
To find yourself a woman
Upon your knees at night.