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“I have seen the world's fair beauty;
I have tasted all its sweet;
Life for me is all complete.
“For the face of her who loved me
Beckons to me far away:
Then why should I longer stay?”
And O friends, who'd dare to keep him?
Let us sound no fun'r'al knell; But
say of his life, “'Twas blessed!” And
say of his death, "'Tis well !”
M. J. S.
“ Better Off.”
“He's better off.” With words like these
Kind friends their comfort try to speak. None doubts it of a man like him;
Yet far off sound the words, and weak.
The heart that loves is not content,
How well soe'er the loved one be, To have him happy far away,
But cries, “I want him still with me!”
That other country may be fair,
Brighter than aught the earth has shown, But better any place with him
Than to be left here all alone.
Thus pleads the heart that God has made,
He cannot blame what he has given,For heaven without love could not be,
And, having love, the earth is heaven.
The folded hands, the closing eyes,
The yielding up of failing breath, These not the worst: to tear apart
Two hearts that truly love is death.
Since love is all the joy of life,
In earth below or heaven above, Somewhere, we cannot help but trust,
God keeps for us the ones we love.
Like ships the storms drive far apart
Wide o'er the sea 'neath cloud and sun, We'll still sail for the self-same port,
And meet there when the voyage is done.
And as we tell the story o'er,
How we were driven by the blast, More sweet will be those sunny hours
By contrast with the sorrows past.
M. J. S.
FROM these closed eyes, and these white lips
Where loving smiles no longer play, What, to the ear that silence hears,
Does Death to us, the living, say?
Sweet friends, the words of love you
wish You'd said to me while I could hear, Take heed, in days to come, you speak
To living ones who still are near.
“No more for me can you do aught,
Save make the flowers bloom where I sleep; But hearts of living ones still ache,
And eyes of living ones still weep.
“Pour out on them the love and care
You wish you could on me bestow : Then, when some other falls asleep,
O’er vain regrets no tears shall flow.”
Death, then, would teach us how to live,
How we shall die need give no care, Live as we'll wish we had; and then
Death's face becomes divinely fair.
M. J. S
A. R. C.
WHEN falls the night upon the earth,
And all in shadow lies,
Beams bright on other skies.
And when the dawn star groweth dim
Upon the brow of morn,
That miss it, grow forlorn.
Some other world is glad to see
Our star that's gone away:
Makes somewhere else a day.
The feet that cease their walking here,
Tired of the way they've trod, With strength renewed go travelling
The pathway up to God.
The hand, whose patient fingers now
Have laid earth's labor by, With loving skill has taken up
Some higher ministry.
The eyes, that give no longer back
The tender look of love,
God's beauteous world above.
The lips whose sweet tones made us ask
If angels sweeter sung,
With their melodious tongue.
And, though her body lies asleep,
Our favorite is not dead : She rises through dark death's bright birth,
“ With joy upon her head.”
And while we grope our doubtful way,
Tear-blinded in the night,
Clear writ in heavenly light.
Weary, oft-times, and rough and steep, He knows 'twas goodness led him on,
And gave to “his beloved sleep.”
We, heart-sore pilgrims, follow him :
It is not for his fate we moan; But that we see his face no more,”
And now must travel on alone. He, standing on the hills of God,
Doth beckon to us while we weep. The night is short, the morning's dawn
Shall greet us rising from our sleep.
M. J. S.
OH, what is all that can be done,
And what is all that can be said ? When all is passed, the fact remains
That he, my noble one, is dead.
Friends gather round and speak to me,
But can they make him speak once more? I see them coming. but I hear
Not his loved footfall on the floor.
They clasp my hand in sympathy;
But, oh! his hand is still and cold : They look upon me, but his eyes
Will look no more the love of old.
O friends, your sympathy is dear,
But who can give him back to me? Empty and poor is all the world,
Since I his face no more can see.
I do not mourn a common loss.
O merchants, have you known of one, A truer, cleaner-handed man
Than he whose earthly work is done?