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The Dead One's Message.

Could now the silence of these lips

Wake into speech once more to-day With their sweet tones of old-time love,

What last words, think you, would they say?

Weep for me tenderly; for I,

Were you here lying in my place, Would press my warm lips on your brow,

And rain the hot tears on your face.

“For is it not death's sting to know

That, howe'er happy, still apart Our pathways lead us, while the old,

Strong love still yearns within the heart?

And, when this body's laid away,

I'd have you my low earth-bed make All fresh with grass, and sweet with flowers,

And sacred for the old time's sake.

“ But then, sweet friends, look up and on!

Let sunshine all the clouds break through; And do not, for my sake, forget

What for the living you should do!

LE not shadow of my loss

Darken the path the living tread; But let the memories of my past

Still cheer and help though I am dead.

These ears can hear your words no more,

However fondly you may speak:
For my sake then, with words of love,

The living cheer, and help the weak.

“My heart, now still, no longer aches :

But weary thousands watch and wake Through dreary nights and hopeless days ;

Help them before their sad hearts break!

“Your willing hands for me have wrought;

But now I need your help no more.
The service you would render me

Give those who suffer at your door.


my memory in your heart !
But, lest it grow a selfish thing,
Make channels for a thousand streams,

Of which my love shall be the spring.

“So from the grave I still may speak;

Still help the sorrowing world to bless;
Still live, though dead, and swell the tide

Of human love and happiness."

M. J. S.

WWhich is Better ?

FROM out of the mystery cometh to earth
A new child of God through the gateway of birth.

Out into the mystery there beyond breath
Goes a new child of God through the gateway of death.

We smile at the birth, at the death toll the bell;
Yet which is the better, who is there can tell ?

How oft is the birth to a life full of tears,-
To a path that is rough and o'erclouded by fears !

How often, heart-hungry for love unreturned,
We see the bliss vanish for which we have yearned!

How often the structures we reared with delight,
Our houses of joy, crumble down in a night!

A live sorrow often is harder, we say,
Than the parting from those who are taken away;
And we sigh for the peace of an undisturbed sleep
Where hearts are not broken, and eyes do not weep.

Our birth is a coming - so wise men have said
From some other land, where they count us as dead.

For if it be true we existed before,
To the old home we died, as we came to this shore.

Did they mourn our departure there, as we to-day
Lament for our dear ones when they go away?

Who knows then that what we call death may not be
But another new birth, through whose gateway we

Take one more step onward, as ever we climb
The ladder of life, reaching up through all time?

Birth and death may be one then : the different view,
Or coming or going, makes us think them two.

And, since life reaches upward and on through all time,
Each death may be birth into some fairer clime.

Since in birth and death both there are mysteries deep,
And whether they're waking or going to sleep

We know not; and whether 'tis better to stay,
Or whether 'tis best to be going away, —

Let us trust and be patient; for sure He must know,
From whose Life we come, to whose Life we go.

Birth! death! - which is better we now cannot tell.
Believe then that both in His hands are well.

M. J. S.

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A BUD of life just opening

Its petals fresh and fair, But now frost-nipped and withered

In spite of all my care !

Both day and night I watched it,

'Twas never out of sight; Glad tears I gave for dew-drops,

And love for sunshine bright.

And yet it needs must wither!

O Father, tell me why,
Of all in earth's wide garden,

My tiny flower must die!

A thousand happy mothers

Their little ones still hold, While I for mine must hunger

With yearnings all untold.

In other homes, child voices

Laugh out their happy glee ; But all their winsome prattle

Seems mockery now to me !

For my child's voice is silent;

And no one tells me why, Of all glad mothers' children,

My precious child must die !

Then came from out the silence

As though some heart above Was melted into pity –

These tender words of love:

“O mother, in your sorrow,

O father, in your grief, Can you not trust a little,

And, trusting, find relief?

“I lead

you in the darkness A way you may not tell; And, if I would, I cannot

The mystery dispel.

“Can you, with all your trying,

To childish thought make plain The wisdom of your training,

The school-day toil and pain?

“However plain the language,

It falls on childish ears : They cannot spell its meaning

With eyes all dim with tears.

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