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Aud I would cross the seas, and change my ancient home,
my father's name? In the wild hope, if that might be, to change my own
I know that I was wrong: I know it was not well to be
so wild. But the scorn stung so!... Pity now could wound not !
... I have seen her child : It had the selfsame eyes she had ; their gazing almost
made me mad.
But the scorn have seen her che had ; their gaz
Dark violet eyes whose glances, deep with April-hints of
sunny tears, ’Neath long soft lashes laid asleep, seemed all too
thoughtful for her years; As though from mine her gaze had caught the secret of
some mournful thought.
But, when she spoke, her father's air broke o'er her ...
that clear, confident voice! Some happy souls there are, that wear their nature lightly;
these rejoice The world by living, and receive from all men more than .. what they give.
One handful of their buoyant chaff exceeds our hoards of
careful grain; Because their love breaks through their laugh, while ours
is fraught with tender pain :
The world, that knows itself too sad, is proud to keep
some faces glad :
And, so it is! from such an one Misfortune softly steps
aside To let him still walk in the sun. These things must be.
I cannot chide. Had I been she I might have made the selfsame choice.
She shunned the shade.
To some men God hath given laughter: but tears to some
men he hath given : He bade us sow in tears, hereafter to harvest holier smiles
in heaven: And tears and smiles, they are his gift: both good, to
smite or to uplift.
IIe knows his sheep: the wind and showers beat not too
sharply the shorn lamb: His wisdom is more wise than ours: he knew my nature,
— what I am: IIe tempers smiles with tears: both good, to bear in time
the Christian mood.
O yet, — in scorn of mean relief, let Sorrow bear her
heavenly fruit! Better the wildest hour of grief than the low pastime of
the brute! Better to weep, — for He wept too, — than laugh as
every fool can do!
For sure, 't were best to bear the cross; nor lightly fling
the thorns behind; Lest we grow happy by the loss of what was noblest in
the mind. - Here, — in the ruins of my years, — Father, I bless
thee through these tears !
It was in the far foreign lands this sickness came upon
me first. Below strange suns, ʼmid alien hands this fever of the
south was nursed, Until it reached some vital part. I die not of a broken
O think not that! If I could live ... there's much to
live for, — worthy life. It is not for what fame could give, — though that I scorn
not, - but the strife Were noble for its own sake too. I thought that I had
much to do,
But God is wisest! Hark, again! ... 't was yon black
bittern, as he rose Against the wild light o'er the fen. How red your little
casement glows ! The night falls fast. How lonely, Dear, this bleak old
house will look next year!
So sad a thought? ... ah, yes! I know it is not good
to brood on this:
And yet, — such thoughts will come and go, unbidden.
'T is that you should miss, My darling, one familiar tone of this weak voice when I
And, for what's past, — I will not say in what she did
that all was right, But all’s forgiven; and I pray for her heart's welfare,
day and night. All things are changed! This cheek would glow even
near hers but faintly now!
Thou, — God! before whose sleepless eye not even in
vain the sparrows fall, Receive, sustain me! Sanctify my soul. Thou know'st,
thou lovest all. Too weak to walk alone, — I see thy hand: I falter back
Saved from the curse of time which throws its baseness
on us day by day: Its wretched joys; and worthless woes; till all the heart
is worn away. I feel thee near. I hold my breath, by the half-open
doors of Death.
And sometimes, glimpses from within of glory (wondrous
sight and sound!) Float near me: — faces pure from sin; strange music;
saints with splendor crowned :
I seem to feel my native air blow down from some high
And fan my spirit pure : I rise above the sense of loss
and pain : Faint forms that lured my childhood's eyes, long lost, I
seem to find again : I see the end of all: I feel hope, awe, no language can
Forgive me, Lord, if overmuch I loved that form thou
mad'st so fair; I know that thou didst make her such; and fair but as
the flowers were, – Thy work: her beauty was but thine; the human less
than the divine.
My life hath been one search for thee ʼmid thorns found
red with thy dear blood : In many a dark Gethsemane I seemed to stand where
thou hadst stood : And, scorned in this world's judgment-place, at times,
through tears, to catch thy face.
Thou sufferedest here, and didst not fail: thy bleeding
feet these paths have trod : But thou wert strong, and I am frail: and I am man,
and thou wert God. Be near me: keep me in thy sight: or lay my soul asleep in light.