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For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven; be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony;
Enkindle generous ardor; feed pure love ;
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty;
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense.
So shall I join the choir invisible,
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

George Elset.


WHAT shall I do with all the days and hours

That must be counted ere I see thy face? How shall I charm the interval that lowers

Between this time and that sweet time of grace?

I'll tell thee: for thy sake, I will lay hold

Of all good aims, and consecrate to thee, In worthy deeds, each moment that is told

While thou, beloved one, art far from me.

For thee, I will arouse my thoughts to try

All heavenward fights, all high and holy strains; For thy dear sake, I will walk patiently

Through these long hours, nor call their minutes pains.

I will this weary blank of absence make

A noble task-time, and will therein strive To follow excellence, and to o'ertake

More good than I have won since yet I live.

So may this darksome time build up in me

A thousand graces which shall thus be thine; So may my love and longing hallowed be,

And thy dear thought an influence divine.

Frances Anne Kemble.

The Reaper and the Flowers.

THERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

“Shall I have naught that is fair?” saith he;

“Have naught but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again.”

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”

The Reaper said, and smiled; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

“They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear.”

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.



THERE is no flock, however watched and tended,

But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,

But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,

And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,

Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient! These severe afflictions

Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions

Assume this dark disguise.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;

Amid these earthly damps,
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers

May be heaven's distant lamps.

There is no Death! What seems so is transition;

This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,

Whose portal we call Death.

She is not dead,- the child of our affection,

But gone unto that school Where she no longer needs our poor protection,

And Christ himself doth rule.

In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,

By guardian angels led,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,

She lives, whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing

In those bright realms of air;
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,

Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken

The bond which nature gives,
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,

May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;

For, when with raptures wild
In our embraces we again enfold her,

She will not be a child,

But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,

Clothed with celestial grace;
And beautiful with all the soul's expansion

Shall we behold her face.

And though at times, impetuous with emotion

And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves, moaning like the ocean

That cannot be at rest,

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling

may not wholly stay;
· By silence sanctifying, not concealing,

The grief that must have way.


The Eternal Goodness.

Within the maddening maze of things,

And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings :

I know that God is good.

I long for household voices gone,

For vanished smiles I long;
But God hath led my dear ones on,

And he can do no wrong.

I know not what the future hath

Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death

His mercy underlies.

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The dear home faces whereupon
The fitful firelight paled and shone,
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still ;
Look where we may, the wide earth o'er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.
We tread the paths their feet have worn,

We sit beneath their orchard trees,

We hear, like them, the hum of bees,
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,

Their written words we linger o'er,
• But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,

No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet love will dream, and faith will trust
(Since He who knows our need is just),
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.

Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,

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