Herman Melville

"The Narrow Balcony"

For now he was awake and knew
No one is ever spared except in dreams;
But there was something else the nightmare had distorted –
Even the punishment was human and a form of love:
The howling storm had been his father’s presence
And all the time he had been carried on his father’s breast

Who now had set him gently down and left him
He stood upon the narrow balcony and listened:
And all the stars above him sang as in his childhood
‘All, all is vanity,’ but it was not the same;
For now the words descended like the calm of mountains –
- Nathaniel had been shy because his love was selfish -

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