The White Wampum


April 1, 1888

Lent gathers up her cloak of sombre shading
In her reluctant hands.
Her beauty heightens, fairest in its fading,
As pensively she stands
Awaiting Easter’s benediction falling,
Like silver stars at night,
Before she can obey the summons calling
Her to her upward flight,
Awaiting Easter’s wings that she must borrow
Ere she can hope to fly—
Those glorious wings that we shall see to-morrow
Against the far, blue sky.
Has not the purple of her vesture’s lining
Brought calm and rest to all?
Has her dark robe had naught of golden shining
Been naught but pleasure’s pall?
Who knows? Perhaps when to the world returning
In youth’s light joyousness,
We’ll wear some rarer jewels we found burning
In Lent’s black-bordered dress.
So hand in hand with fitful March she lingers
To beg the crowning grace
Of lifting with her pure and holy fingers
The veil from April’s face.
Sweet, rosy April—laughing, sighing, waiting
Until the gateway swings,
And she and Lent can kiss between the grating
Of Easter’s tissue wings.
Too brief the bliss—the parting comes with sorrow.
Good-bye dear Lent, good-bye!
We’ll watch your fading wings outlined to-morrow
Against the far blue sky.


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This work (Flint and Feather by E. Pauline Johnson) is free of known copyright restrictions.