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For us who strive to follow. May I reach
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,
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,
These sacred blossoms wear.”
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
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!
But has one vacant chair!
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
Will not be comforted!
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps,
May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
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,
She lives, whom we call dead.
Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air;
Behold her grown more fair.
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives,
May reach her where she lives.
Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For, when with raptures wild
She will not be a child,
But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace;
Shall we behold her face.
And though at times, impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed,
That cannot be at rest,
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
may not wholly stay;
The grief that must have way.
The Eternal Goodness.
Within the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
I know that God is good.
I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long;
And he can do no wrong.
I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
His mercy underlies.
The dear home faces whereupon
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees,
Their written words we linger o'er,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Alas for him who never sees