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“His youth was innocent; his riper age
Marked with some act of goodness every day;
Faded his late declining years away:
Thanks for the fair existence that was his;
To mock him with her phantom miseries;
And glad that he has gone to his reward;
Softly to disengage the vital cord;
From “ Thanatopsis.”
Blessed are They that Mourn.
Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep!
A blessing for the eyes that weep.
The lids that overflow with tears;
Are promises of happier years.
There is a day of sunny rest
For every dark and troubled night; And grief may bide an evening guest,
But joy shall come with early light. And thou who, o'er thy friend's low bier,
Dost shed the bitter drops like rain, Hope that a brighter, happier sphere
Will give him to thy arms again. Nor let the good man's trust depart,
Though life its common gifts deny,Though with a pierced and bleeding heart,
And spurned of men, he goes to die.
And numbered every secret tear,
William Cullen Bryant.
Here and There. HERE is the sorrow, the sighing,
Here are the cloud and the night; Here is the sickness, the dying,
There are the life and the light. Here is the fading, the wasting,
The foe that so watchfully waits ; There are the hills everlasting,
The city with beautiful gates. Here are the locks growing hoary,
The glass with the vanishing sands; There are the crown and the glory,
The house that is made not with hands. Here is the longing, the vision,
The hopes that so swiftly remove; There is the blessed fruition,
The feast, and the fulness of love. Here are the heart-strings a-tremble,
And here is the chastening rod; There is the song and the cymbal, And there is our Father and God.
I YIELD thee unto higher spheres,
I bend my head and say, “Thy will
The while my eyelids fill.
That wilts us here, and entered now
Bereft of thee we bow.
Was beautiful as it was brief :
It knew but little grief.
And from our hearts their peace and joy: We feel so terribly alone
Without thee, dearest boy! Thou mad'st us feel how very fair
God's earth could be, and taught us love; And in life's tapestry of care
A golden figure wove.
He asks, “And would you wish him back,
Whom I have taken to my joy,Drag downward to Life's narrow track
Your little spirit boy?”
'“No! no!” the spirit makes reply:
“Not back to earthly chance and pain.”
“Would he were here again !
That all our heart-strings bleeding lie,
Are now but agony.
Yet let us suffer : he is freed,
And on our tears a bridge of light
William W. Story.
The Two Mysteries.
[In the middle of the room, in its white coffin lay the dead child, nephew of the poet. Near it, in a great chair, sat Walt Whitman, surrounded by little ones, and holding a beautiful little girl in his lap. The child looked curiously at the spectacle of death, and then inquiringly into the old man's face. “You don't know what it is, do you, my dear?” said he. “We don't either.”]
We know not what it is, dear, this sleep so deep and still :
We know not what it means, dear, this desolate heart-pain,-
But this we know: our loved and dead, if they should come this
day,Should come and ask us, “What is life?” not one of us could say. Life is a mystery as deep as ever death can be ; Yet, oh, how sweet it is to us, this life we live and see!
Then might they say,— these vanished ones,- and blessed is the
thought! “So death is sweet to us, beloved, though we may tell you na!
We may not tell it to the quick, - this mystery of death,-
The child who enters life comes not with knowledge or intent,
Mary Mapes Dodge
Auld Lang Syrie.
It singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all,
However we may call;
We see them as of yore, -
'Tis hard to take the burden up,
When these have laid it down;
They softened every frown;
When we are troubled sore!
Although they are no more!
More home-like seems the vast unknown,
Since they have entered there;
Wherever they may fare;
On any sea or shore;
1. W. Chadwick.