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Tell me, O friends, if anywhere,
In all your circles, far or near, You've found a firmer, truer friend
Than this fast friend that sleepeth here !
In all the years since time begun,
You've found a truer, tenderer son!
O husbands, wives, in all the earth,
Was any less disposed to roam ? One who was purer in his love,
Or more devoted to his home?
O country, in your hour of need,
When swords were crossed in bitter strife,
Or truer to your perilled life?
O God, who seest the winner part,"
That he was sound and true at heart.
But what can this avail me now?
Because in him there was no dross, Because my memories are so fair,
Therefore is mine the greater loss.
But God forgive me ! - though I bear
A pain that words can never tell, Yet somehow I must still believe
That what so crushes me is well.
The memory of his noble life
Shall still inspire me; and some day The clouds may lift, and light once more
Shine round about my darkened way.
I know he'd have me hopeful still:
Let me look up, then, through my tears. He'll not return; but I shall hope
To find him in the happier years.
M 1. S.
F. F. T.
I LOVED him, friends; and in the mourner's place
Would I sit silent with my tears to-day. But now his lips are still, and I must speak;
But what words can our thoughts of him portray?
A true and sincere man! With open mind
And heart all crystal-clear, he faced the light. For though it pained him, still with steadfast gaze,
As on the sun, he dared look on the right.
No ear he stopped, although the voice divine
Bade him walk onward in an untried way: Such faith in God was his, he could not doubt
The star of truth must lead toward the day.
Stern was he in the battle for the right,
With foot that faltered not, though hard the path. The fire of love for man that warmed his soul
Against all wrong could flame with virtuous wrath.
Yet gentle was he as a little child;
And, in his tender, sympathetic heart, Weakness and sorrow found a hiding-place:
No pang of others, but he felt the smart.
He loved his home. As needle to the pole
Turns ever true on whate'er seas men roam, So to his fireside turned his constant heart :
No spot to him so blessed as his home.
Yet from this home, as from a central sun,
His love for man o'er all the earth outshone: No earnest cause appealed to him in vain,
That hoped to lead the old earth up and on.
A noble man lies here asleep to-day.
After long weeks of weariness and pain, Death drew her restful curtains round his bed ;
And, though we call, he will not wake again.
Nor would we wish to wake him if we might;
For he has seen the Unseen face to face.
To call him down again from his high place ?
And yet, О friends! it is such men as he
That make the earth seem empty when they leave. That he was noble is our comfort now,
And yet 'tis for this very cause we grieve.
To you, whose broken home will seem so still,
So vacant now that he has gone away,
And yet what is it any one can say?
will long To clasp his hand, to see his face once more. At morn, you'll listen for his cheery voice;
At night, to hear his foot-fall on the floor.
The sting of death remains when all is said;
For it is this, that those we hold so dear No longer walk the ways of life with us.
We want them happy, but we want them here.
When all is said and done, we come to this :
Though clouds be round us and tears dim our way, We still will trust that He who makes the night
Will lead us through it to the coming day. We'll hide his loving memory in our hearts ;
We'll follow in the pathway that he trod; We'll make each day another step upon The stairway leading up to him and God.
M. J. S.
The Weart's Spring-Time.
The earth lay shrouded white in snow;
With low, sad voice, the winds wailed by;
Their gaunt arms lifted to the sky.
All nature was in chains : the brooks
Crept ice-bound on their sluggish way;
The sun shone feebly, and the night
Soon blotted out the cheerless day.
Then from the south the glad spring came,
And breathed through all the chilly air, And wheresoe'er her warm feet trod
Sprang life and beauty everywhere.
The fields and meadows all put on
Their spangled dress of grass and flowers, Brooks babbled, and ecstatic birds
Made shake with joy their leafy towers.
Such is the spring-time of the year!
But tell me, then, Has man no part In life's long triumph over death?
Is there no spring-time of the heart ?
Our loved ones, shrouded white, have lain
Beneath the snow these many years : The sad-voiced winds above them go,
And on their graves drip rainy tears.
Their shadowy memories visit us,
For dreams at least can leave that shore,Mother's gray hairs and gentle eyes,
As light she steps across the floor;
Or comes the brother of our youth,
Making the far-off years draw nigh; The wife, long lost, our fadeless dream,
The same old love-look in her eye;
The laughing child, whose sunny hair
Was so entangled in our heart It bleeds afresh when we recall
The hour that tore our lives apart.
'Tis winter in our lives! Snows fall,
Chill, dreary skies are overhead,
The flowers of our hope are dead.
Is there no spring-time of the heart?
Will our lives bud again no more? Will they no more return,- the birds
Whose music made us glad before ?
Nay, listen! In my heart, I hear
The whisper of another spring:
Leaves burst and buds are blossoming.
I catch the fragrance of that clime
Where summer blooms the whole round year, Where every sound melts into song
And comes as music to my ear.
The lost ones hidden by the snow,
With faces white and still and cold, Beneath those soft skies wake again
To live and love us as of old.
Mother and brother, wife and child,
They keep the same remembered faces : Only tear-stains and lines of care
With deathless youth can find no places.
And, best of all, it looks like home,
No strange land trod by alien feet; Familiar as our childhood haunts,
Clothed all in mellow sunlight sweet.
The heart's long prayer is answered thus:
The dead through no far countries roam; As babes born into waiting arms,
They die into some higher home.
And 'neath the sunshine of this hope
My life, where joy had ceased to sing,
M. J. S.