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The Friend's Burial.
Her still and quiet life flowed on
As meadow streamlets flow,
The noiseless ways they go.
Unto the perfect day;
Such peace with her away.
O sweet, calm face, that seemed to wear
The look of sins forgiven !
Our own needs up to heaven !
How reverent in our midst she stood,
Or knelt in grateful praise !
Was in her household ways !
For still her holy living meant
No duty left undone;
Their kindred loves in one.
She kept her line of rectitude
With love's unconscious ease: Her kindly instincts understood
All gentle courtesies.
The dear Lord's best interpreters
Are humble human souls; The Gospel of a life like hers
Is more than books or scrolls.
From scheme and creed the light goes out,
The saintly fact survives ;
J. G. Whittier.
To J. S.
God gives us love. Something to love
He lends us; but, when love is grown To ripeness, that on which it throve
Falls off, and love is left alone.
And though mine own eyes fill with dew,
Drawn from the spirit through the brain, I will not even preach to you, “Weep, weeping dulls the inward pain.”
I will not say “God's ordinance
Of death is blown in every wind;” For that is not a common chance
That takes away a noble mind.
Sleep sweetly, tender heart, in peace;
Sleep, holy spirit, blessed soul,
And the great ages onward roll.
Sleep till the end, true soul and sweet,
Nothing comes to thee new or strange;
G. L. S.
He has done the work of a true man,
Crown him, honor him, love him. Weep over him, tears of woman,
Stoop, manliest brows, above him !
For the warmiest of hearts is frozen,
The freest of hands is still;
The long years may not fill.
No duty could overtask him,
No need his will outrun;
His hands the work had done.
He forgot his own soul for others,
Himself to his neighbor lending ;
And not in the clouds descending.
Ah, well ! — The world is discreet;
There are plenty to pause and wait;
Sometimes in advance of fate:
Never rode to the wrong's redressing
A worthier paladin;
J. G. Whittier.
The solemn vista to the tomb
And give another cypress room.
Thy genial nature fondly clung:
Ran back and left thee always young.
Which, only to thyself unjust,
And dwarfed thy own with self-distrust ?
Of one who, seeking not his own, Gave freely for the love of giving,
Nor reaped for self the harvest sown.
Thy greeting smile was pledge and prelude
Of generous deeds and kindly words ;
Open to sunrise and the birds !
The task was thine to mould and fashion
Life's plastic newness into grace ;
And light with thought the maiden's face.
With bended heads of mourning, stand
And fitness to thy shaping hand.
O friend ! if thought and sense avail not
To know thee henceforth as thou art,
I trust the instincts of my heart.
Thine be the quiet habitations,
Thine the green pastures, blossom-sown,
As sweet and tender as thy own.
Thou com'st not from the hush and shadow
To meet us, but to thee we come ;
J. G. IVhittier.
E. S. G.
“At eve there shall be light,” the promise runs
In the dear volume that he loved so well ; Ay, and for him the promise was fulfilled,
When rang for him the solemn vesper-bell. His was no day of sweet, unsullied blue,
And bright, warm sunshine on the grass and flowers; But many a cloud of loss and grief and pain
Dropped its deep shadow on the feeting hours.
For still, though hours were his, serene and still,
And radiant hours of steady glowing noon, That cloud of pain was ever near to touch
With quivering sadness every brightest boon. And, as his afternoon drew on to eve
And still he lingered in the whitened field, The reapers were so few, till night should fall
Fain would his hand the heavy sickle wield, – Darker it grew and darker o'er the land,
And he was forced to lay the sickle by;
To seize once more its opportunity.
Then from the sky the clouds were furled away,
The evening star with her benignant ray.
And all the sky was purely, softly bright;
With shadows deep, and darkness all forlorn,
Into the golden palaces of morn.
To welcome there earth's holiest and best,
J. W. Chadwick.
En Memory of the Lady Augusta Stanley. O blessed life of service and of love!
Heart wide as life, deep as life's deepest woe; God's servants serve him day and night above,
Thou servedst day and night, we thought, below.