Part Seventh--The Last Things



Oh it is sweet to think,

Of those that are departed, While murmured Aves sink

To silence tender-hearted, While tears that have no pain

Are tranquilly distilling, And the dead live again

In hearts that love is filling.


Yet not as in the days

Of earthly ties we love them; For they are touched with rays

From light that is above them: Another sweetness shines

Around their well-known features; God with His glory signs

His dearly ransomed creatures.


Yes, they are more our own,
Since now they are God's only;

And each one that has gone
Has left our heart less lonely.

38 445

He mourns not seasons fled,
Who now in Him possesses

Treasures of many dead

In their dear Lord's caresses.


Dear dead! they have become

Like guardian angels to us; And distant heaven like home,

Through them begins to woo us; Love, that was earthly, wings

Its flight to holier places; The dead are sacred things

That multiply our graces.


They whom we love on earth

Attract us now to heaven; Who shared our grief and mirth

Back to us now are given. They move with noiseless foot

Gravely and sweetly round us, And their soft touch hath cut

Full many a chain that bound us.


O dearest dead! to heaven

With grudging sighs we gave you, To Him—be doubts forgiven!

Who took you there to save you:— Now get ns grace to love

Your memories yet more kindly, Pine for our homes above,

And trust to God more blindly.



How shalt thou bear the Cross that now

So dread a weight appears? Keep quietly to God, and think

Upon the Eternal Years.

Austerity is little help,

Although it somewhat cheers; Thine oil of gladness is the thought

Of the Eternal Years.

Set hours and written rule are good,
Long prayer can lay our fears:

But it is better calm for thee
To count the Eternal Years.

Rites are as balm unto the eyes,

God's word unto the ears:
But He will have thee rather brood

Upon the Eternal Years.;


Full many things are good for souls
In proper times and spheres;

Thy present good is in the thought
Of the Eternal Years.


Thy self-upbraiding is a snare,
Though meekness it appears;

More humbling is it far for thee,
To face the Eternal Years.


Brave quiet is the thing for thee,
Chiding thy scrupulous fears;

Learn to be real, from the thought
Of the Eternal Years.


Bear gently, suffer like a child,

N or be ashamed of tears; Kiss the sweet Cross, and in thy heart

Sing of the Eternal Years.


Thy Cross is quite enough for thee,

Though little it appears;
For there is hid in it the weight

Of the Eternal Years.


And knowst thou not how bitterness

An ailing spirit cheers? Thy medicine is the strengthening thought

Of the Eternal Years.


One Cross can sanctify a soul;

Late saints and ancient seers Were what they were, because they mused

Upon the Eternal Years.


Pass not from flower to pretty flower;

Time flies, and judgment nears;
Go! make thy honey from the thought

Of the Eternal Years.


Death will have rainbows round it, seen
Through calm contrition's tears,

If tranquil hope but trims Jier lamp
At the Eternal Years.


Keep unconstrain'dly in this thought,
Thy loves, hopes, smiles, and tears;

Such prison-house thine heart will make
Free of the Eternal Years.


A single practice long sustained

A soul to God endears: This must be thine—to weigh the thought

Of the Eternal Years.


He practises all virtue well,

Who his own Cross reveres, And lives in the familiar thought

Of the Eternal Years.



The grief that was delayed so long,
O Lord! hath come at last;

Blest be Thy Name for present pain,
And for the weary past!


Yet, Father! I have looked so long

Upon the coming grief, That what should grieve my heart the most

Seems almost like relief.


Alas! then, did I love the dead
As well as he loved me?

Or have I sought myself alone
Rather than him, or Thee?

To fear is harder than to weep,
To watch than to endure;

The hardest of all griefs to bear
Is a grief that is not sure.


As on a watehtower did I stand,
Like one that looks in fear,

And sees an overwhelming host
O'er hill and dale draw near.


The bitterness each day brought forth
Was more than I could bear,

And hope's uncertainty was worse
Than positive despair.


I grew more unprepared for grief AVhich had so long been stayed;

The blow seemed more impossible The more it was delayed.


Yes! the most sudden of our griefa
Are those which travel slow;

The longer warning that it gives
The deeper is the woe.


To look a sorrow in the face
False magnitude imparts;

All sorrows look immensely large
Unto our little hearts.


But to look long upon a grief,
Which is so long in sight,

Unmans the heart more terribly
Than a sudden death at night.


A swift and unexpected blow,
If hard to bear, is brief;

But oh! it is less sudden far
Than a quiet creeping grief.


Least griefs are more than we can bear,
Each worse than those before;

Our own griefs always greater griefs
Than those our fathers bore.


The griefs we have to bear alone,
The griefs that we can share,

Our single griefs, our crowded griefs,—
Which are the worst to bear?


Yet all are less than our deserts;

Within our grace they lie; The sorrows we exaggerate

We cannot sanctify.


Dear Lord! in all our loneliest paiua
Thou hast the largest share,

And that which is unbearable
'Tis Thine, not ours, to bear.


How merciful Thine anger is,

How tender it can be,
How wonderful all sorrows are

Which come direct from Thee!


Years fly, O Lord ! and every year

More desolate I grow; My world of friends thins rpuud me fast,

Love after love lies low.


There are fresh gaps around the hearth,

Old places left unfilled, And young lives quenched before the old,

And the love of old hearts chilled:


Dear voices and dear faces missed,
Sweet households overthrown,

And what is left more sad to see
Than the sight of what has gone.


All this is to be sanctified,
This rupture with the past;

For thus we die before our deaths,
And so die well at last.



Hark! hark! my soul! angelic songs are swelling O'er earth's green fields and ocean's wave-beat shore;

How sweet the truth those blessed strains are telling

Of that new life when sin shall be no more!
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!


Darker than night life's shadows fall around us,
And, like benighted men, we miss our mark;
God hides Himself, and grace hath scarcely found

Ere death finds out his victims in the dark,
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!

Onward we go, for still we hear them singing,

Come, weary souls! for Jesus bids you come!
And through the dark, its echoes sweetly ringing,
The music of the Gospel leads us home.
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!

Far, far away, like bells at evening pealing,

The voice of Jesus sounds o'er land and sea
A nd laden souls, by thousands meekly stealing,
Kind Shepherd! turn their weary steps to Thee.
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!


Rest comes at length; though life be long and dreary,

The day must dawn, and darksome night be past; All journeys end in welcomes to the weary, And heaven, the heart's true home, will come at last.

Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!


Cheer up, my soul! faith's moonbeams softly glisten

Upon the breast of life's most troubled sea;
And it will cheer thy drooping heart to listen
To those brave songs which angels mean for thee.
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!


Angels! sing on, your faithful watches keeping,
Sing us sweet fragments of the songs above;
While we toil on, and soothe ourselves with weeping,
Till life's long night shall break in endless love.
Angels of Jesus,

Angels of light,
Singing to welcome

The pilgrims of the night!



I wish to have no wishes left,

But to leave all to Thee;
And yet I wish that Thou shouldst will

Things that I wish should be.


And these two wills I feel within,
When on my death I muse:

But, Lord! I have a death to die,
And not a death to choose.


Why should I choose? for in Thy love

Most surely I descry
A gentler death than I myself

Should dare to ask to die.


But Thou wilt not disdain to hear

What those few wishes are, Which I abandon to Thy love,

And to Thy wiser care.


Triumphant death I would not ask,

Kather would deprecate;
For dying souls deceive themselves

Soonest when most elate.


All graces I would crave to have

Calmly absorbed in one,— A perfect sorrow for my sins,

And duties left undone.


All Sacraments and church-blest things

I fain would have around,
A priest beside me, and the hope

Of consecrated ground.


But, most of all, Thy Mother, Lord!

I long to have with me, With all her nameless offices

Around my bed to be.


I would the light of reason, Lord!

Up to the last might shine,
That my own hands might hold my soul

Until it passed to Thine.


And I would pass in silence, Lord!

No brave words on my lips,
Lest pride should cloud my soul, and I

Should die in the eclipse.


But when, and where, and by what pain,—

All this is one to me:
I only long for such a death

As most shall honor Thee.


Long life dismays me, by the sense
Of my own weakness scared:

And by Thy grace a sudden death
Need not be unprepared.


One wish is hard to be unwished,—

That I at last might die
Of grief for having wronged with sin

Thy spotless Majesty.



How pleasant are thy paths, O Death I

Like the bright slanting west, Thou leadest down into the glow Where all those heaven-bound sunsets go, Ever from toil to rest.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Back to our own dear dead,
Into that land which hides in tombs
The better part of our old homes;

'Tis there thou mak'st our bed.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Thither where sorrows cease, To a new life, to an old past, Softly and silently we haste,

Into a land of peace.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Thy new restores our lost;
There are voices of the new times
With the ringing of the old chimes

Blent sweetly on thy coast.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

One faint for want of breath,—
And above thy promise thou hast given:
All, we find more than all in heaven,

O thou truth-speaking Death!


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

E'en children after play
Lie down, without the least alarm,
And sleep, in thy maternal arm,

Their little life away.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

E'en grown-up men secure Better manhood, by a brave leap Through the chill mist of thy thin sleep,—

Manhood that will endure.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

The old, the very old, Smile when their slumberous eye grows dim, Smile when they feel thee touch each limb,

Their age was not less cold.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Ever from pain to ease;
Patience, that hath held on for years,
Never unlearns her humble fears

Of terrible disease.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

From sin to pleasing God;
For the pardoned in thy land are bright
As innocence in rol)e of white,

And walk on the same road.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Straight to our Father's Home;
All loss were gain that gained us this,
The sight of God, that single bliss

Of the grand world to come.


How pleasant are thy paths, O Death!

Ever from toil to rest,—
Where a rim of sea-like splendor runs,
Where the days bury their golden sun3,

In the dear hopeful west!



Sweet Saviour! take me by the hand,
And lead me through the gloom;

Oh it seems far to the Other Land,
And dark in the silent tomb!


I thought it was less hard to die,

A straighter road to Thee,
With at least a twilight in the sky,

And one narrow arm of sea.


Saviour! what means this breadth of death,

This space before me lying,
These deeps where life so lingereth,

This difficulty of dying?


So many turns, abrupt and rude,

Such ever-shifting grounds, Such a strangely peopled solitude,

Such strangely silent sounds?


Another hour! What change of pain

In this last act doth lie! Surely to live life o'er again

Were less prolix than to die.


How carefully Thou walkest, Lord!

Canst Thou have cause to fear? Who is that spirit with the sword?

Art Thou not Master here?


Whom are we trying to avoid?

From whom, Lord! must we hide? Oh can the dying be decoyed,

With his Saviour by his side?


Deeper!—Dark! Dark! But yet I follow;

Tighten, dear Lord! Thy clasp! How suddenly earth seems to hollow,

There is nothing left to grasp!


I cannot feel Thee; art Thou near?

It is all too dark to see;
But let me feel Thee, Saviour dear!

I can go on with Thee.


What speed! How icy-smooth these stones!

Oh might we make less haste? How the caves echo back my moans

From some invisible waste I


May we not rest, dear Help? Oh no,

Not on a road so steep!
Sweet Saviour! Have we far to go?

Ah how I long for sleep!


Loose sand—and all things sinking! Hark

The murmur of a sea! Saviour! it is intensely dark;

Is it near eternity?


Can I fall from Thee even now?

Both hands, dear Lord! both hands! Why dost thou lie so deep, so low,

Thou shore of the Happy Lands?


Ah! death is very, very wide,

A land terrible and dry:
If Thou, sweet Saviour! hadst not died,

Who would have dared to die?


Another fall !—Surely we steal
On towards eternity :—

Lord! Is this death'?—I only feel
Down in some sea with Thee.



Gloom gathered round us every hour
In that house of awful sorrow;

Each day lay darker and more dark
In the shadow of its morrow.


And yet no cloud that came passed on,

No yesterdays went by; 'Twas a storm that gathers without wind,

Until it chokes the sky,


Time hungered for some dreadful change,
And yet grew sick with fear,

Impatient at the slow approach
Of that which was too near.


But we never named what we most feared;

It was only understood;
And we lived on an unspoken faith

That somehow God was good.


Yes! God was good: on that one thought
The whole day we were leaning:

Yet we dared not put it into words,
Lest it should lose its meaning.


Of many things, of many wants

We had to be reminded:
We felt our way about the house

Like men that had been blinded.


We scarce breathed anything but grief:

We almost held our breath: We were inwardly unmanned and numbed

With the looking out for death.


Each told to each what each well knew,

Each told it o'er and o'er:
Questions we asked which we ourselves

Had answered just before.


From its intensity of aim
Our own life aimless seemed:

The very stern reality

Made us almost think we dreamed.


The days could somehow drag themselves,

Like wounded worms along: But I know not how we lived those nights,

Save that God made us strong.


And somehow all things turned to fears;

And foolish things became Fountains of unrefreshing tears

Which burned the eyes like flame.


Oh what a life it was, a life

Of such entangled woe,
Like the panic of a shipwrecked crew,—

Only this was so slow:—


Entangled with minute details,

Needful, but out of season, Yet a woe of such simplicity

As almost troubled reason.


God shut us up there seven long weeks,

As in some unworldly ark,— And we learned what He had meant us learn,—

To live and to see in the dark.


Darkness is easier far to bear

Than that unrestful gloom,
Where the light snows in, and vaguely haunts

The shapes and the things in the room.


One of those darknesses was this,

In which God loves to dwell, One of those restful silences

In which He is audible.


Slowly light came, the thinnest dawn,

Not sunshine to our night, A new, more spiritual thing,

An advent of pure light:


Perhaps not light; rather the soul
Which just then came to see,

And saw through its world-darkened life,
Aud saw eternity.


0 God! it was a time divine,
Rich epoch of calm grace,

A pressing of our hearts to Thine
In mystical embrace.


The work of years was done in days,
Fights won, and trophies given:

For sorrow is the atmosphere
Which ripens hearts for heaven.


1 saw dear souls with seemliest haste
Array themselves in light,

And weave themselves angelic robes
Out of the utter night.


Eternal thoughts in simplest words
Fell meekly from their tongue,

While the fragrance of eternity
To their silent presence clung.


For monthlike days, for yearlike nights,

I saw all this about me: It should have been my work; but God

Had to do the work without me.


I only saw how I had missed

A thousand things from blindness,

How all that I had done appeared
Scarce better than unkindness.


How that to comfort those that mourn
Is a thing for saints to try;

Yet haply God might have done less,
Had a saint been there, not I.


Alas! we have so little grace,

With love so little burn,
That the hardest of our works for God

Is to comfort those who mourn.



0 Merciful Father the blow that we feared,
Though for long it hath threatened and slowly hath'

Hath come all at once, hath too suddenly come, A.nd laid waste the fair garden that once was our home.


We had thought to have borne it far bettter than this,

Nor have grudged to Thy will our poor tribute of bliss;

In our minds we had looked in the face of this woe, And had fixed how to kneel to encounter the blow.


But it seems as if sorrow did more than make haste, And had leaped from the clouds down upon us at last:

And the grief most surprises, looks most like a wrong,

Because we have looked for its coming so long. 4.

Nay, we fain would believe that the blow had not come,

That it was but a dream, this dumb, desolate home, That the eyes were not closed, could not possibly close,

In the light of whose love was our only repose. 5.

All grief has its limits, all chastenings their pause; Thy love and our weakness are sorrow's two laws; No burdens of Thine are too great to be borne, Didst Thou know how this sorrow would leave us forlorn?


We had said we were ready, whatever should chance;

Of our hearts' preparations we made a romance; And we bade Thee sincerely to strike at Thy will;

Thou hast struck, but how far are our hearts from being still!


What a voiceless despair, what a tempest of tears, What a perfect rebellion and clamor of fears, What murmurs unchecked, tempers unreconciled! All within us, but faith, is disordered and wild.


Yet see how we crouch to Thee, Lord! after all; We wished Thee far off while the blow did not fall,

And now our sole joy is to feel Thee so near, And we fling ourselves down on Thy lap without fear.


We fling ourselves on Thee with passionate trust; Thou art always most loving when forced to be just;

And our ravings and tears are no worse in Thine eyes,

Than the newly-weaned mountain-lamb's pitiful cries.


Our foolish wild words are some worship to Thee, Thou hast made us so, Lord! and wouldst have it so be;

And we know, when our hearts the most bitterly swell,

Not the less was it love for being judgment as well. 11.

Thy knowledge of us makes Thy pity more deep; Our knowledge of Thee bids us trust while we weep: For it is when we weep we are often most still; They who mourn most keep often most close to Thy will.


Thou wert always our Father! Each sun that arose Has done nothing through life but fresh mercies disclose;

But we feel, while the joy of our life is laid low, Thou hast ne'er been so tender a Father as now.



Days, weeks, and months have gone, O Lord!

They seemed both long and brief;
Yet darker still the darkness grows,

And deeper lies the grief.


They spoke of sorrow's laws and ways,
They said what time would do;

Wise-sounding words! yet have they been
Most bitterly untrue.


O sorrow! 'tis thy law to feed

On what should be relief;
O time! of all things surely thou

Art crudest to grief.


They tell me I am better now
That tears have passed away:

Alas! those earlier days of tears
Were sunshine to to-day.


The mind was less afraid of self,
When sorrow's thoughts grew rank:

The sights and sounds of recent grief
Were better than this blank.


Old grief is worse than new: its pain

Is deeper in the heart;
The dull blind ache is worse to bear

Than blow, or wound, or smart.


Deeper and deeper in my soul
The weight of grief is stealing,

And, strange to say, I feel it more
When it has sunk past feeling.


O grief! when thou wert fresh and sharp,

Part of life felt thy blow;
But, grown the habit of my heart,

Thou art my whole life now.


Most sovereign when least sensible,
Most seen when out of sight,

Thou art the custom of the day,
And the haunting of the night.


Oh that they would not comfort me!

Deep grief cannot be reached; Wisdom, to cure a broken heart,

Must not be wisdom preached.


Deep grief is better let alone;

Voices to it are swords;
A silent look will soothe it more

Than the tenderness of words.


Oh speak not! I will do my work,
Nay, more work than my share;

For to feel that it is idle grief
Is what deep grief cannot bear.


Deep grief is not a past event,

It is a life, a state,
Which habit makes more terrible,

And age more desolate.


But am I comfortless? Oh no!

Jesus this pathway trod;
And deeper in my soul than grief

Art Thou, my dearest God!


Good is that darkening of our lives, Which only God can brighten:

But better still that hopeless load, Which none but God can lighten. 144.


Lord! art Thou weary of my cry,
My unrepressed complaint?

The more Thy hand upholdeth me
The more I seem to faint.


Alas! had ever grief of man

Such discontent as mine?
Yet how I crave to have my will

Simply content with Thine!


Bear with me, patient God of Job!

Bear with Thy weakly child; My thoughts are fevered with my grief,

My heart is going wild.


From some abyss these causeless bursts

Of stormy sorrow flow;
It seems as if nor outward thing,

Nor inward, brought the woe.


All of itself it comes, and sweeps

The landmarks quite away; And these sudden tempests mostly come

On the eve of a quiet day.


There is some change within my grief,

Some shifting of my cross: What overweights me is not grief,

It is the sense of loss.


What was a grief is now a loss,

A stationary want,
An absence felt in every room,

In each familiar haunt.


My God! how petulant I am,

How hard to please in grief, For ever making fresh complaint

Of what should be relief!


But, Lord! Thou lovest we should speak,

Nor silent bear our pain:
The look of Thy forbearing love

Allures us to complain.


Oh loss is grief's most joyless side,
Grief's least religious state:

'Tis sorrow most unreconciled,
Because most like to fate.


Loss is a sense upon whose nerve
Life's ceaseless weight must press,

A pain too dull and equable
To vary its distress.


Loss is a thing so multiplied,

So many-shaped a grief,
So echoing every sound of life,

That there is no relief.


I seemed to have him while I grieved;

At least grief was no void; In some strange way the vehement woo

My sinking spirits buoyed.


Fresh grief can occupy itself
With its own recent smart;

It feeds itself on outward things,'
And not on its own heart.


New sorrow never goads: it seems

To fill and occupy;
But I am goaded to despair

By this blind vacancy:


And then it is such calm despair,
Such a mute and passive pain,

That they who love me smile, and say,—
That I am myself again!


I move about, and do my work,

That old routine of yore; But, if I seem to sorrow less,

It is to miss him more.


When I have missed him most all day,

I have him in my dreams;
And then how worse than the first loss

The dismal waking seems!


This sense of loss,—oh can it last?

Or, if it lasts, be borne?
The extremity that comes at night

Has a worse extreme at morn.


My sorrow could defend itself,
Or at least could live apart;

But the lass intrudes from every side
On my defenceless heart.


The present is so like the past,

Yet so terribly unlike,
That all life's touches do not touch,

But cut and bruise and strike.


If it was more unbearable

So stormily to grieve,
The hopelessness of my great loss

Is harder to believe:—


Worse to believe,—and yet alas!

Worse to be borne as well, Because it makes life felt to be

So quite impossible.


Is it, O Lord! that I too much
On creature's love have leaned?

Else why this void of all things now,
This pain of being weaned?


Sorrow by its own nature is
In league with self-deceit;

Its very grace improves its skill
More grace to counterfeit.


Sorrow indulged must always make

The grace within us less; Man's sorrow at its best must be

A form of selfishness,—


The gracefulest of all self-loves,

But a self-worship still, A waste of heart whose deepest depths

It is Thy right to fill.


Faith does not know of empty hearts;

They should be full of Thee, And to be full of Thee alone

Is their eternity.


All life is loss; for it delays

The vision of Thy Face:
Yet nothing, Lord! is lost to him

Who hath not lost Thy grace.



The Shadow of the Rock!
Stay, Pilgrim! stay!
Night treads upon the heels of day;
There is no other resting-place this way.
The Rock is near,
The well is clear,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock!
The desert wide
Lies round thee like a trackless tide,
In waves of sand forlornly multiplied.
The sun is gone,
Thou art alone,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock! All come alone, All, ever since the sun hath shone, Who travelled by this road have come alone. Be of good cheer, A home is here, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock! Night veils the land; How the palms whisper as they stand! How the well tinkles faintly through the sand! Cool water take Thy thirst to slake, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock I
Abide! Abide!
This Rock moves ever at thy side,
Pausing to welcome thee at eventide.
Ages are laid
Beneath its shade,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock!


The Shadow of the Rock!
Always at hand,
Unseen it cools the noon-tide land,
And quells the fire that flickers in the sand.
It comes in sight
Only at night,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Kock! Mid skies storm-riven It gathers shadows out of heaven, And holds them o'er us all night cool and even. Through the charmed air Dew falls not there, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock!
To angel's eyes
This Rock its shadow multiplies,
And at this hour in countless places lies.
One Rock, one Shade,
O'er thousands laid,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock \ To weary feet, That have been diligent and fleet, The sleep is deeper and the shade more sweet. O weary! rest, Thou art sore pressed, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock! Thy bed is made; Crowds of tired souls like thine are laid This night beneath the self-same placid shade. They who rest here Wake with heaven near, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock! Pilgrim! sleep sound; In night's swift hours witli silent bound The Rock will put thee over leagues of ground. Gaining more way By night than day; Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.


The Shadow of the Rock! One day of pain Thou scarce wilt hope the Rock to gain, Yet there wilt sleep thy last sleep on the plain; And only wake In heaven's day-break, Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.




Thou touchast us lightly, O God ! in our grief;
But how rough is Thy touch in our prosperous

All was bright, but Thou eamest, so dreadful and brief,

Like a thunderbolt falling in gardens of flowers. 2.

My children! My children! they clustered all round me,

Like a rampart which sorrow could never break through;

Each change in their beautiful lives only bound me In a spell of delight which no care could undo.


But the eldest! O Father! how glorious he was, With the soul looking out through his fountainlike eyes:

Thou lovest Thy Sole-born! And had I not cause The treasure Thou gavest me, Father! to prize? 4.

But the lily-bed lies beaten down by the rain, And the tallest is gone from the place where he grew;

My tallest! my fairest! Oh let me complain; For all life is unroofed, and the tempests beat through.


I murmur not, Father! My will is with Thee;

I knew at the first that my darling was Thine: Hadst Thou taken him earlier, O Father!—but see!

Thou hadst left him so long that I dreamed he was mine.


Thou hast taken the fairest: he the fairest to me:

Thou hast taken the fairest: 'tis always Thy way; Thou hast taken the dearest: was he dearest to Thee?

Thou art welcome, thrice welcome:—yet woe is the day!


Thou hast honored my child by the speed of Thy choice,

Thou hast crowned him with glory, o'erwhelmed him with mirth: He sings up in heaven with his sweet-sounding voice,

While I, a saint's mother, am weeping on earth.


Yet oh for that voice, which is thrilling through heaven,

One moment my ears with its music to slake! Oh no! not for worlds would I have him re-given, Yet I long to have back what I would not re-take.


I grudge him, and grudge him not 1 Father! Thou knowest

The foolish confusions of innocent sorrow; It is thus in Thy husbandry, Saviour! Thou sowest The grief of to-day for the grace of to-morrow.


Thou art blooming in heaven, my Blossom, my Pride!

And thy beauty makes Jesus and Mary more glad:

Saints' mothers have sung when their eldest-born died,

Oh why, my own saint! is thy mother so sad? 11.

Go, go with thy God, with thy Saviour, my child! Thou art His; I am His; and thy sisters are His:

But to-day thy fond mother with sorrow is wild,— To think that her son is an angel in bliss!


Oh forgive me, dear Saviour! on heaven's bright shore

Should I still in my child find a separate joy: While I lie in the light of Thy Face evermore, May I think heaven brighter because of my boy?



The Land beyond the Sea!

When will life's task be o'er?

When shall we reach that soft blue shore,

O'er the dark strait whose billows foam and roar?

When shall we come to thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea?


The Land beyond the Sea I

How close it often seems,

When flushed with evening's peaceful gleams;

And the wistful heart looks o'er the strait, and

dreams! It loDgs to fly to thee, Calm Land beyond the Sea! 3.

The Land beyond the Sea!

Sometimes distinct and near

It grows upon the eye and ear,

And the gulf narrows to a threadlike mere

We seem half way to thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea!


The Land beyond the Sea!

Sometimes across the strait,

Like a drawbridge to a castle gate,

The slanting sunbeams lie, and seem to wait

For us to pass to thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea!


The Land beyond the Sea!

Oh how the lapsing years,

Mid our not unsubmissive tears,

Have borne, now singly, now in fl«eis, the biers

Of those we love to thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea I


The Land beyond the Sea!

How dark our present home!

By the dull beach and sullen foam

How wearily, how drearily we roam.

With arms outstretched to thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea!


The Land beyond the Sea!
When will our toil be done?
Slow-footed years! more swiftly run
Into the gold of that unsetting sun!
Homesick we are for thee,
Calm Land beyond the Sea!


The Land beyond the Sea!

Why fadest thou in light?

Why art thou better seen towards night?

Dear Land! look always plain, look always bright,

That we may gaze on thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea!


The Land beyond the Sea!

Sweet is thine endless rest,

But sweeter far that Father's Breast

Upon thy shores eternally possessed;

For Jesus reigns o'er thee,

Calm Land beyond the Sea 1



Alone! to land alone upon that shore;

With no one sight that we have seen before,—

Things of a different hue,

And the sounds all new, And fragrances so sweet the soul may faint. Alone! Oh that first hour of being a saint!


Alone! to land alone upon that shore!
On which no wavelets lisp, no billows roar,

Perhaps no shape of ground, ,

Perhaps no sight or sound, No forms of earth our fancies to arrange,— But to begin alone that mighty change!


Alone! to land alone upon that shore!
Knowing so well we can return no more:

No voice or face of friend,

None with us to attend
Our disembarking on that awful strand,
But to arrive alone in such a land!


Alone! to land alone upon that shore:
To begin alone to live for evermore,

To have no one to teach

The manners or the speech Of that new life, or put us at our ease :— Oh that we might die in pairs or companies!


Alone! No! God hath been there long before, Eternally hath waited on that shore

For us who were to come

To our eternal home;
And He hath taught His angels to prepare
In what way we are to be welcomed there.


Like one that waits and watches He hath sate,

As if there were none else for whom to wait,
Waiting for us, for us
Who keep Him waiting thus,

And who bring less to satisfy His love

Than any other of the souls above.


Alone? The God we know is on that shore. The God of whose attractions we know more

Than of those who may appear

Nearest and dearest here:
Oh is He not the life-long friend we know
More privately than any friend below?


Alone? The God we trust is on that shore,
The Faithful One whom we have trusted more

In trials and in woes

Than we have trusted those
On whom we leaned most in our earthly strife,—
Oh we shall trust Him more in that new life!


Alone? The God we love is on that shore,
Love not enough, yet whom we love far more,

And whom we've loved all through,

And with a love more true Than other loves,—yet now shall love Him more:— True love of Him begins upon that shore!


So not alone we land upon that shore:
'Twill be as though we had been there before;

We shall meet more we know

Than we can meet below,
And find our rest like some returning dove,
And be at home at once with our Eternal Love!



O Paradise! O Paradise!

Who doth not crave for rest?
Who would not seek the happy land,
Where they that loved are blest;
Where loyal hearts, and true,

Stand ever in the light,
All rapture through arid through,
In God's most holy sight?


O Paradise! O Paradise!

The world is growing old;
Who would not be at rest and free
Where love is never cold,
Where loyal hearts, and true,

Stand ever in the light,
All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight?


O Paradise! O Paradise!

Wherefore doth death delay, Bright death, that is the welcome dawn

Of our eternal day;

Where loyal hearts, and true,
Stand ever in the light,

All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight?


0 Paradise! O Paradise! 'Tis weary waiting here;

1 long to be where Jesus is,
To feel, to see Him near;

Where loyal hearts, and true,
Stand ever in the light,

All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight.

0 Paradise! O Paradise! I want to sin no more;

1 want to be as pure on earth
As on thy spotless shore;

Where loyal hearts, and true,
Stand ever in the light,

All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight.


O Paradise! O Paradise!

I greatly long to see
The special place my dearest Lord

Is destining for rue;

Where loyal hearts, and true,
Stand ever in the light,

All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight


O Paradise! O Paradise!

I feel 'twill not be long;
Patience! I almost think I hear
Faint fragments of thy song;
Where loyal hearts, and true,

Stand ever in the light,
All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy sight



Oh what is this splendor that beams on me now,
This beautiful sunrise that dawns on my soul,

While faint and far off land and sea lie below,
And under my feet the huge golden clouds roll?


To what mighty king doth this city belong,

With its rich jewelled shrines, and its gardens of flowers,

With its breaths of sweet incense, its measures of song,

And the light that is gilding its numberless towers


See! forth from the gates, like a bridal array,

Come the princes of heaven, how bravely they shine!

'Tis to welcome the stranger, to show me the way, And to tell me that all I see round me is mine.


There are millions of saints, in their ranks and degrees,

And each with a beauty and crown of his own; And there, far outnumbering the sands of the seas,

The nine rings of Angels encircle the throne.

And far in the heart of that glorious light
The mighty Apostles are seated in state,

With Joseph and John, who in life's mortal night
Were appointed on Jesus and Mary to wait.


And, still deeper in, Mary's splendor is seen,

Her beautiful self and her choice starry crown; And all heaven grows bright in the smile of its Queen,

For the glory of Jesus illumines her throne.


And oh, if the exiles of earth could but win
One sight of the beauty of Jesus above,

From that hour they would cease to be able to sin,
And earth would be heaven; for heaven is love.


But words may not tell of the "Vision of Peace,

With its worshipful seeming, its marvellous fires; Where the soul is at large, where its sorrows all cease,

And the gift has outbidden its boldest desires.

No sickness is here, no bleak bitter cold,
No hunger, debt, prison, or weariful toil;

No robbers to rifle our treasures of gold,
No rust to corrupt, and no canker to spoil.


My God! and it was but a short hour ago
That I lay on a bed of unbearable pains;

All was cheerless around me, all weeping and woe;
Now the wailing is changed to angelical strains.


Because I served Thee, were life's pleasures all lost? Was it gloom, pain, or blood, that won heaven for me?

Oh no! one enjoyment alone could life boast,

And that, dearest Lord! was my service of Thee.


I had hardly to give; 'twas enough to receive, Only not to impede the sweet grace from above

And, this first hour in heaven, I can hardly believe In so great a reward for so little a love.