She stood in the open door,
She blessed them faint and low:
"I must go," she said, "must go
Away from the light of the sun,
Away from you, every one;
Must see your eyes no more,--
Your eyes, that love me so.

"I should not shudder thus,
Nor weep, nor be afraid.
Nor cling to you so dismayed,
Could I only pierce with ray eyes
Where the dark, dark shadow lies;
Where something hideous
Is hiding, perhaps," she said.

Then slowly she went from them,
Went down the staircase grim,
With trembling heart and limb;
Her footfalls echoed
In the silence vast and dead,
Like the notes of a requiem,
Not sung, but uttered.

For a little way and a black
She groped as grope the blind,
Then a sudden radiance shined,
And a vision her eyelids burned;
All joyfully she turned,
For a moment turned she back,
And smiled at those behind.

There in the shadows drear
An angel sat serene,
Of grave and tender mien,
With whitest roses crowned;
A scythe lay on the ground,
As reaping-time were near,--
A burnished scythe and a keen.

She did not start or pale
As the angel rose and laid
His hand on hers, nor said
A word, hut beckoned on;
For a glorious meaning shone
On the lips that told no tale,
And she followed him, unafraid.

Her friends wept for a space;
Then one said: "Be content;
Surely some good is meant
For her, our Beautiful,--
Some glorious good and full.
Did you not see her face,
Her dear smile, as she went?"