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A sunbeam through an open door
Streamed down the death-o'ershadowed aisle,
And lighted all our solemn gloom
With radiance like an angel's smile.


It crept to where, within her shroud,
A sainted maiden lay at rest,
And gazed upon her pallid brow,
And slept upon her pulseless breast.


With golden fingers, light and warm,
It dallied with her raven hair;
It kissed her faded lip and cheek,
As if the flush of life was there.


It spread above her pillowed head
The glory of its gilded wing,
And whispered to her as it fled,
"I'll come to thee again in Spring.


"When thou art laid within the earth,
By all save loving hearts forgot,
I'll strew thy grave with violets fair,
And woo the wild-bird near the spot.


"And all day long my happy smile
Shall cheer thy lone and peaceful bed;
I'll be for thee a shining link
Between the living and the dead."