Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

The fragrance of the rose,
Whose dewy leaves in morning's light unclose,

Goes not more sweetly up
From its rich heart, as from an incense cup,

Than thy freed spirit from its earthly shrine
Passed with the still angel to the rest divine.

Oh no! Thou didst not die !
Thou hast but lain the soul's frail vesture by,

And soared to that pure height
Where day serene is followed by no night,

And where the discipline of mortal woe
No shadow over thee can ever throw.

Death never comes to such
With chillness in the mystery of his touch:

They gently pass away
As melts the morning star in golden day;

They leave the places they have known below,
And through the white gates of the morning go.

We would not call thee back
To the frail flowers that wither on our track,

Perhaps to have thy feet
Pierced by the thorns that we so often meet:

For thou art in that fairer world than ours
Where love mourns not the fading of the flowers.

Why should we weep for thee
When thy pure soul from every ill is free?

Our only tears should flow
For those, the loved, who linger still below,

From whom the light of thy dear smile is fled,
Who feel indeed that thou art with the dead.

We know the gloomy grave
Holds not the spirit which our Father gave;

That loving, lustrous light,
That made the sphere in which it moved so bright,

Is shining with a clear and quenchless flame,
Rekindled at the source from whence it came.

Thou art not dead! For death
Can only take away the mortal breath;

And life, commencing here,
Is but the prelude to its full career;
And Hope and Faith the blest assurance give –
We do not live to die! We die to live !"

Anonymous.

[ocr errors]

Auld Lang Syne.
It singeth low in every heart,

We hear it, each and all,
A song of those who answer not,

However we may call;

They throng the silence of the breast,

We see them as of yore, –
The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet,

Who walk with us no more!

'Tis hard to take the burden up,

When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,

They softened every frown ;
But oh, 'tis good to think of them,

When we are troubled sore !
Thanks be to God that such have been,

Though they are here no more !

More homelike seems the vast unknown,

Since they have entered there;
To follow them were not so hard,

Wherever they may fare ;
They cannot be where God is not,

On any sea or shore;
Whate'er betides, thy love abides,
Our God, forevermore!

J. W. Chadwick.

The Other Side. Climbing the mountain's shaggy crest,

I wondered much what sight would greet

My eager gaze whene'er my feet Upon the topmost height should rest.

The other side was all unknown;

But, as I slowly toiied along,

Sweeter to me than any song My dream of visions to be shown.

At length the topmost height was gained;

The other side was full in view;

My dreams not one of them was true, But better far had I attained.

For far and wide on either hand

There stretched a valley broad and fair,

With greenness flashing everywhere,
A pleasant, smiling, home-like land.
Who knows, I thought, but so 'twill prove

Upon that mountain-top of death,

Where we shall draw diviner breath,
And see the long-lost friends we love.

It may not be as we have dreamed,

Not half so awful, strange, and grand;

A quiet, peaceful, home-like land,
Better than e'er in vision gleamed.

J. W. Chadwick.

God's-Acre.
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls

The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls,

And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.

God's-Acre! Yes, that blessed name imparts

Comfort to those, who in the grave have sown The seed that they had garnered in their hearts,

Their bread of life, alas! no more their own.

Into its furrows shall we all be cast,

In the sure faith that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast

Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.

Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,

In the fair gardens of that second birth; And each bright blossom mingle its perfume

With that of flowers, which never bloomed on earth.

With thy rude pioughshare, Death, turn up the sod,

And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow!

H. W. Longfellow.

After Death in Arabia.

He who died at Azan sends
This to comfort all his friends :

Faithful friends! it lies, I know,
Pale and white and cold as snow;
And ye say, “ Abdallah's dead !”
Weeping at the feet and head.
I can see your falling tears,
I can hear your sighs and prayers ;
Yet I smile and whisper this,
I am not the thing you kiss.
Cease your tears and let it lie:

It was mine, it is not I.”
“Sweet friends, what the women lave,

For the last sleep of the grave,
Is a hut which I am quitting,
Is a garment no more fitting,
Is a cage from which, at last,
Like a bird my soul hath passed.
Love the inmate, not the room,
The wearer, not the garb, — the plume
Of the falcon, not the bars

Which kept him from those splendid stars. “Loving friends! be wise, and dry

Straightway every weeping eye,
What ye lift upon the bier
Is not worth a wistful tear.
'Tis an empty sea-shell,
Out of which the pearl is gone;
The shell is broken, it lies there:
The pearl, the all, the soul, is here.
'Tis an earthen jar, whose lid
Allah sealed, the while it hid
That treasure of his treasury,
A mind that loved him ; let it lie!
Let the shard be earth's once more,
Since the gold shines in his store!

one

« PreviousContinue »