Come, in the minstrel’s lay;
When two hearts meet,
And true hearts greet,
And all is morn and May.
Come Thou! and now, anew,
To thought and deed
Give sober speed,
Thy will to know, and do.
Stay! till the storms are o’er —
The cold blasts done,
The reign of heaven begun,
And Love, the evermore.
Be patient, waiting heart:
Light, Love divine
Is here, and thine;
You therefore cannot part.
“The seasons come and go:
Love, like the sea,
Rolls on with thee, —
But knows no ebb and flow.
385 “Faith, hope, and tears, triune,
Above the sod
Find peace in God,
And one eternal noon.”
Oh, Thou hast heard my prayer;
And I am blest!
This is Thy high behest:
Thou, here and everywhere.
Meeting of My Departed Mother and Husband
“Joy for thee, happy friend! thy bark is past
The dangerous sea, and safely moored at last —
Beyond rough foam.
Soft gales celestial, in sweet music bore —
Spirit emancipate for this far shore —
Thee to thy home.
“You’ve travelled long, and far from mortal joys,
To Soul’s diviner sense, that spurns such toys,
Brave wrestler, lone.
Now see thy ever-self; Life never fled;
Man is not mortal, never of the dead:
The dark unknown.
“When hope soared high, and joy was eagle-plumed,
Thy pinions drooped; the flesh was weak, and doomed
To pass away.
But faith triumphant round thy death-couch shed
Majestic forms; and radiant glory sped
The dawning day.
386“Intensely grand and glorious life’s sphere, —
Beyond the shadow, infinite appear
Life, Love divine, —
Where mortal yearnings come not, sighs are stilled,
And home and peace and hearts are found and filled,
Thine, ever thine.
“Bearest thou no tidings from our loved on earth,
The toiler tireless for Truth’s new birth
Our joy is gathered from her parting sigh:
This hour looks on her heart with pitying eye, —
What of my child?”
“When, severed by death’s dream, I woke to Life,
She deemed I died, and could not know the strife
At first to fill
That waking with a love that steady turns
To God; a hope that ever upward yearns,
Bowed to His will.
“Years had passed o’er thy broken household band,
When angels beckoned me to this bright land,
With thee to meet.
She that has wept o’er thee, kissed my cold brow,
Rears the sad marble to our memory now,
In lone retreat.
“By the remembrance of her loyal life,
And parting prayer, I only know my wife,
Thy child, shall come —
Where farewells cloud not o’er our ransomed rest —
Hither to reap, with all the crowned and blest,
Of bliss the sum.
387“When Love’s rapt sense the heart-strings gently sweep,
With joy divinely fair, the high and deep,
To call her home,
She shall mount upward unto purer skies;
We shall be waiting, in what glad surprise,
Our spirits’ own!”
Brood o’er us with Thy shelt’ring wing,
’Neath which our spirits blend
Like brother birds, that soar and sing,
And on the same branch bend.
The arrow that doth wound the dove
Darts not from those who watch and love.
If thou the bending reed wouldst break
By thought or word unkind,
Pray that his spirit you partake,
Who loved and healed mankind:
Seek holy thoughts and heavenly strain,
That make men one in love remain.
Learn, too, that wisdom’s rod is given
For faith to kiss, and know;
That greetings glorious from high heaven,
Whence joys supernal flow,
Come from that Love, divinely near,
Which chastens pride and earth-born fear,
388 Through God, who gave that word of might
Which swelled creation’s lay:
“Let there be light, and there was light.”
What chased the clouds away?
’Twas Love whose finger traced aloud
A bow of promise on the cloud.
Thou to whose power our hope we give,
Free us from human strife.
Fed by Thy love divine we live,
For Love alone is Life;
And life most sweet, as heart to heart
Speaks kindly when we meet and part.
Grave on her monumental pile:
She won from vice, by virtue’s smile,
Her dazzling crown, her sceptred throne,
Affection’s wreath, a happy home;
The right to worship deep and pure,
To bless the orphan, feed the poor;
Last at the cross to mourn her Lord,
First at the tomb to hear his word:
To fold an angel’s wings below;
And hover o’er the couch of woe;
To nurse the Bethlehem babe so sweet,
The right to sit at Jesus’ feet;
389 To form the bud for bursting bloom,
The hoary head with joy to crown;
In short, the right to work and pray,
“To point to heaven and lead the way.”
The Mother’s Evening Prayer
O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing to-night.
Love is our refuge; only with mine eye
Can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall:
His habitation high is here, and nigh,
His arm encircles me, and mine, and all.
O make me glad for every scalding tear,
For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain!
Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear
No ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.
Beneath the shadow of His mighty wing;
In that sweet secret of the narrow way,
Seeking and finding, with the angels sing:
“Lo, I am with you alway,” — watch and pray.
No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain;
No night drops down upon the troubled breast,
When heaven’s aftersmile earth’s tear-drops gain,
And mother finds her home and heavenly rest.
Whence are thy wooings, gentle June?
Thou hast a Naiad’s charm;
Thy breezes scent the rose’s breath;
Old Time gives thee her palm.
The lark’s shrill song doth wake the dawn:
The eve-bird’s forest flute
Gives back some maiden melody,
Too pure for aught so mute.
The fairy-peopled world of flowers,
Enraptured by thy spell,
Looks love unto the laughing hours,
Through woodland, grove, and dell;
And soft thy footstep falls upon
The verdant grass it weaves;
To melting murmurs ye have stirred
The timid, trembling leaves.
When sunshine beautifies the shower,
As smiles through teardrops seen,
Ask of its June, the long-hushed heart,
What hath the record been?
And thou wilt find that harmonies,
In which the Soul hath part,
Ne’er perish young, like things of earth,
In records of the heart.
Wish and Item
Written to the Editor of the Item, Lynn, Massachusetts
I hope the heart that’s hungry
For things above the floor,
Will find within its portals
An item rich in store;
That melancholy mortals
Will count their mercies o’er,
And learn that Truth and wisdom
Have many items more;
That when a wrong is done us,
It stirs no thought of strife;
And Love becomes the substance,
As item, of our life;
That every ragged urchin,
With bare feet soiled or sore,
Share God’s most tender mercies, —
Find items at our door.
Then if we’ve done to others
Some good ne’er told before,
When angels shall repeat it,
’Twill be an item more.
The Oak on the Mountain’s Summit
Oh, mountain monarch, at whose feet I stand, —
Clouds to adorn thy brow, skies clasp thy hand, —
Nature divine, in harmony profound,
With peaceful presence hath begirt thee round.
And thou, majestic oak, from yon high place
Guard’st thou the earth, asleep in night’s embrace, —
And from thy lofty summit, pouring down
Thy sheltering shade, her noonday glories crown?
Whate’er thy mission, mountain sentinel,
To my lone heart thou art a power and spell;
A lesson grave, of life, that teacheth me
To love the Hebrew figure of a tree.
Faithful and patient be my life as thine;
As strong to wrestle with the storms of time;
As deeply rooted in a soil of love;
As grandly rising to the heavens above.
Isle of Wight
Written on receiving a painting of the Isle
Isle of beauty, thou art singing
To my sense a sweet refrain;
To my busy mem’ry bringing
Scenes that I would see again.
393 Chief, the charm of thy reflecting,
Is the moral that it brings;
Nature, with the mind connecting,
Gives the artist’s fancy wings.
Soul, sublime ’mid human débris,
Paints the limner’s work, I ween,
Art and Science, all unweary,
Lighting up this mortal dream.
Work ill-done within the misty
Mine of human thoughts, we see
Soon abandoned when the Master
Crowns life’s Cliff for such as we.
Students wise, he maketh now thus
Those who fish in waters deep,
When the buried Master hails us
From the shores afar, complete.
Art hath bathed this isthmus-lordling
In a beauty strong and meek
As the rock, whose upward tending
Points the plane of power to seek.
Isle of beauty, thou art teaching
Lessons long and grand, to-night,
To my heart that would be bleaching
To thy whiteness, Cliff of Wight.
’Tis borne on the zephyr at eventide’s hour;
It falls on the heart like the dew on the flower, —
An infinite essence from tropic to pole,
The promise, the home, and the heaven of Soul.
Hope happifies life, at the altar or bower,
And loosens the fetters of pride and of power;
It comes through our tears, as the soft summer rain,
To beautify, bless, and make joyful again.
The harp of the minstrel, the treasure of time;
A rainbow of rapture, o’erarching, divine;
The God-given mandate that speaks from above, —
No place for earth’s idols, but hope thou, and love.
“The flowers of June
The gates of memory unbar:
The flowers of June
Such old-time harmonies retune,
I fain would keep the gates ajar, —
So full of sweet enchantment are
The flowers of June.”
To Mr. James T. White
Who loves not June
Is out of tune
With love and God;
The rose his rival reigns,
The stars reject his pains,
His home the clod!
And yet I trow,
When sweet rondeau
Doth play a part,
The curtain drops on June;
Veiled is the modest moon —
Hushed is the heart.
Written in childhood, in a maple grove
Quickly earth’s jewels disappear;
The turf, whereon I tread,
Ere autumn blanch another year,
May rest above my head.
Touched by the finger of decay
Is every earthly love;
For joy, to shun my weary way,
Is registered above.
The languid brooklets yield their sighs,
A requiem o’er the tomb
Of sunny days and cloudless skies,
Enhancing autumn’s gloom.
396 The wild winds mutter, howl, and moan,
To scare my woodland walk,
And frightened fancy flees, to roam
Where ghosts and goblins stalk.
The cricket’s sharp, discordant scream
Fills mortal sense with dread;
More sorrowful it scarce could seem;
It voices beauty fled.
Yet here, upon this faded sod, —
O happy hours and fleet, —
When songsters’ matin hymns to God
Are poured in strains so sweet,
My heart unbidden joins rehearse;
I hope it’s better made,
When mingling with the universe,
Beneath the maple’s shade.
Christ My Refuge
O’er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain,
And wake a white-winged angel throng
Of thoughts, illumed
By faith, and breathed in raptured song,
With love perfumed.
397 Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show
Life’s burdens light.
I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.
And o’er earth’s troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
Upon Life’s shore,
’Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
From tired joy and grief afar,
And nearer Thee, —
Father, where Thine own children are,
I love to be.
My prayer, some daily good to do
To Thine, for Thee;
An offering pure of Love, whereto
God leadeth me.
“Feed My Sheep”
Shepherd, show me how to go
O’er the hillside steep,
How to gather, how to sow, —
How to feed Thy sheep;
398 I will listen for Thy voice,
Lest my footsteps stray;
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way.
Thou wilt bind the stubborn will,
Wound the callous breast,
Make self-righteousness be still,
Break earth’s stupid rest.
Strangers on a barren shore,
Lab’ring long and lone,
We would enter by the door,
And Thou know’st Thine own;
So, when day grows dark and cold,
Tear or triumph harms,
Lead Thy lambkins to the fold,
Take them in Thine arms;
Feed the hungry, heal the heart,
Till the morning’s beam;
White as wool, ere they depart,
Shepherd, wash them clean.
Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the power of the Word?
’Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.
399Mourner, it calls you, — “Come to my bosom,
Love wipes your tears all away,
And will lift the shade of gloom,
And for you make radiant room
Midst the glories of one endless day.”
Sinner, it calls you, — “Come to this fountain,
Cleanse the foul senses within;
’Tis the Spirit that makes pure,
That exalts thee, and will cure
All thy sorrow and sickness and sin.”
Strongest deliverer, friend of the friendless,
Life of all being divine:
Thou the Christ, and not the creed;
Thou the Truth in thought and deed;
Thou the water, the bread, and the wine.
Written on laying the corner-stone of The Mother Church
Laus Deo, it is done!
Rolled away from loving heart
Is a stone.
Lifted higher, we depart,
Laus Deo, — on this rock
(Heaven chiselled squarely good)
Stands His church, —
God is Love, and understood
By His flock.
400 Laus Deo, night star-lit
Slumbers not in God’s embrace;
Like this stone, be in thy place:
Stand, not sit.
Grave, silent, steadfast stone,
Dirge and song and shoutings low
In thy heart
Dwell serene, — and sorrow? No,
It has none,
Mother’s New Year Gift to the Little Children
Loving me, —
Guard me when I sleep;
Guide my little feet
Up to Thee.
To the Big Children
Father-Mother good, lovingly
Thee I seek, —
In the way Thou hast, —
Be it slow or fast,
Up to Thee.