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Can aught into the Innermost intrude?
The cryptic chamber of the heart of man,
Whereof his closest knoweth not the plan,--
Can aught dwell there save self and solitude?


No other self walks with me o'er its floors;
The nearest, dearest, truest of my friends
Knows but the vestibule; nor ever wends
Beyond the silence of its guarded doors.


The reflex of a smile is sometime thrown,
A Mother's smile, upon its inner way,
Sweet lips and eyes of tenderness, to stay
Awhile with Love; but not to keep the throne.


The crypt is void, although a dear dead face,
With faint aureola of angel's hair,
Brings down at times a light that lingers there,
That sheds its gold, yet cannot fill the place.


O small white hand now clasping nothingness!
O voice of song! could she in life have fill'd
The inner chamber and its aching still'd?
Nay--God alone must fill it--nothing less!