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The Dead One's Message.
Could now the silence of these lips
Wake into speech once more to-day With their sweet tones of old-time love,
What last words, think you, would they say?
Weep for me tenderly; for I,
Were you here lying in my place, Would press my warm lips on your brow,
And rain the hot tears on your face.
“For is it not death's sting to know
That, howe'er happy, still apart Our pathways lead us, while the old,
Strong love still yearns within the heart?
And, when this body's laid away,
I'd have you my low earth-bed make All fresh with grass, and sweet with flowers,
And sacred for the old time's sake.
“ But then, sweet friends, look up and on!
Let sunshine all the clouds break through; And do not, for my sake, forget
What for the living you should do!
LE not shadow of my loss
Darken the path the living tread; But let the memories of my past
Still cheer and help though I am dead.
These ears can hear your words no more,
However fondly you may speak:
The living cheer, and help the weak.
“My heart, now still, no longer aches :
But weary thousands watch and wake Through dreary nights and hopeless days ;
Help them before their sad hearts break!
“Your willing hands for me have wrought;
But now I need your help no more.
Give those who suffer at your door.
my memory in your heart !
Of which my love shall be the spring.
“So from the grave I still may speak;
Still help the sorrowing world to bless;
Of human love and happiness."
M. J. S.
WWhich is Better ?
FROM out of the mystery cometh to earth
Out into the mystery there beyond breath
We smile at the birth, at the death toll the bell;
How oft is the birth to a life full of tears,-
How often, heart-hungry for love unreturned,
How often the structures we reared with delight,
A live sorrow often is harder, we say,
Our birth is a coming - so wise men have said
For if it be true we existed before,
Did they mourn our departure there, as we to-day
Who knows then that what we call death may not be
Take one more step onward, as ever we climb
Birth and death may be one then : the different view,
And, since life reaches upward and on through all time,
Since in birth and death both there are mysteries deep,
We know not; and whether 'tis better to stay,
Let us trust and be patient; for sure He must know,
Birth! death! - which is better we now cannot tell.
M. J. S.
A BUD of life just opening
Its petals fresh and fair, But now frost-nipped and withered
In spite of all my care !
Both day and night I watched it,
'Twas never out of sight; Glad tears I gave for dew-drops,
And love for sunshine bright.
And yet it needs must wither!
O Father, tell me why,
My tiny flower must die!
A thousand happy mothers
Their little ones still hold, While I for mine must hunger
With yearnings all untold.
In other homes, child voices
Laugh out their happy glee ; But all their winsome prattle
Seems mockery now to me !
For my child's voice is silent;
And no one tells me why, Of all glad mothers' children,
My precious child must die !
Then came from out the silence
As though some heart above Was melted into pity –
These tender words of love:
“O mother, in your sorrow,
O father, in your grief, Can you not trust a little,
And, trusting, find relief?
you in the darkness A way you may not tell; And, if I would, I cannot
The mystery dispel.
“Can you, with all your trying,
To childish thought make plain The wisdom of your training,
The school-day toil and pain?
“However plain the language,
It falls on childish ears : They cannot spell its meaning
With eyes all dim with tears.