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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU München, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. He teaches English at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis. He is also the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured.

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The Cross of Snow

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


In the long, sleepless watches of the night, 
   A gentle face—the face of one long dead— 
   Looks at me from the wall, where round its head 
   The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. 
Here in this room she died; and soul more white 
   Never through martyrdom of fire was led 
   To its repose; nor can in books be read 
   The legend of a life more benedight. 
There is a mountain in the distant West 
   That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines 
   Displays a cross of snow upon its side. 
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast 
   These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes 
   And seasons, changeless since the day she died. 

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