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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 toiled 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.
The Good Old Grandmother.
OH, softly waves the silver hair
From off that aged brow!
That crown of glory, worn so long,
A fitting crown is now.
Fold reverently the weary hands
That toiled so long and well;
And, while your tears of sorrow fall,
Let sweet thanksgivings swell.
AS TENDER mothers, guiding baby steps,
When places come at which the tiny feet
Would trip, lift up the little ones in arms
Of love, and set them down beyond the harm,
So did our Father watch the precious boy,
Led o'er the storms by me, who stumbled oft
Myself, but strove to help my darling on:
He saw the sweet limbs faltering, and saw
Rough ways before us, where my arms would fail;
So reached from heaven and lifting the dear child,
Who smiled in leaving me, he put him down
Beyond all hurt, beyond my sight, and bade
Him wait for me! Shall I not then be glad,
And, thanking God, press on to overtake?
YE holy ministers of love,
Blest dwellers in the upper spheres,
In vain we fix our gaze above,
For we are blinded by our tears.
Oh! tell us to what land unknown
The soul of him we love has flown?
He left us when his manly heart
With earnest hope was beating high :
Too soon it seemed for us to part;
To soon, alas, for him to die!
We have the tenement of clay,
But aye the soul has passed away!
Away, into the unknown dark,
With fearless heart and steady hand,
He calmly launched his fragile bark,
To seek the spirit's fatherland.
Say, has he reached some distant shore,
To speak with us on earth no more?
Lips all tremulous with pain
Oft repeat that sad refrain,
When the fatal shaft is sped :
“Gone is gone, and dead is dead.”.
Pain and death are everywhere, -
In the earth and sea and air;
And the sunshine's golden glance,
And the heaven's serene expanse,
With a silence calm and high
Seem to mock that mournful cry,
Wrung from hearts by hope unfed :
“Gone is gone, and dead is dead."
Oye sorrowing ones, arise;
Wipe the tear-drops from your eyes;
Lift your faces to the light;
Read Death's mystery aright.
Life unfolds from life within,
And with death does life begin.
Of the soul can ne'er be said,
“Gone is gone, and dead is dead.”
As the stars which, one by one,
Lit their torches at the sun,
And across ethereal space
Swept each to its destined place,
So the soul's Promethean fire,
Kindled never to expire,
On its course immortal sped,
Is not gone, and is not dead.
By a Power to thought unknown,
Love shall ever seek its own.
Sundered not by time or space,
With no distant dwelling-place,
Soul shall answer unto soul,
As the needle to the pole,
Leaving grief's lament unsaid,
“Gone is gone, and dead is dead."
Evermore Love's quickening breath Calls the living soul from death ;