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BEYOND THE SMILING AND THE WEEPING

Beyond the smiling and the weeping

I shall be soon;
Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the sowing and the reaping,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet hope!

Lord, tarry not, but come.

Beyond the blooming and the fading

I shall be soon;
Beyond the shining and the shading,
Beyond the hoping and the dreading,

I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!

Beyond the rising and the setting

I shall be soon;
Beyond the calming and the fretting,
Beyond remembering and forgetting,

I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!

Beyond the gathering and the strowing

I shall be soon;
Beyond the ebbing and the flowing,
Beyond the coming and the going,

I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!

Beyond the parting and the meeting

I shall be soon;
Beyond the farewell and the greeting,
Beyond this pulse's fever beating,

I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!

Beyond the frost chain and the fever

I shall be soon;
Beyond the rock waste and the river,
Beyond the ever and the never,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet hope!

Lord, tarry not, but come.

HORATIUS BONAR.

THE SILENT LAND

Cloudy argosies are drifting down into the purple dark —

Down into the fading west;
And the long low amber reaches lying on the horizon's mark

Shape themselves into the gateways opening to the Land of Rest, Gateways leading thro' the sunset, out into the under world, Bright with pilgrim barges lying round the Islands of the Blest, With their white sails tranquil furled.

Pale sea-buds that weep forever, water-lilies damp and cool

That the heavenly shores adorn, And the mystic lotus shining thro' the white waves beautiful, Far a peace-emitting fragrance shed through all that tranquil bourne;

Light the valleys undisquieted with step of mortal tread — Bind the white brows of the Living whom all comfortless we mourn,

Whom we blindly call the Dead.

O ye lost ones! ye departed! do ye heed the tears we shed?

Speak, and bid our sorrows cease!
O beloved! O Immortals! O ye dead who are not dead!

Are ye near us in our anguish, in our longing for release? Speak to us across the darkness — wave to us a glimmering hand! Tell us but that ye remember, and our souls shall wait in peace, Dwellers in the Silent Land!

Kate Seymour Mclean.

HEAVEN

Beyond these chilling winds and gloomy skies,

Beyond death's, cloudy portal,
There is a land where beauty never dies —

Where love becomes immortal.

A land whose life is never dimmed by shade,

Whose fields are ever vernal;
Where nothing beautiful can ever fade,

But blooms for aye eternal.

We may not know how sweet its balmy air,

How bright and fair its flowers;
We may not hear the songs that echo there

Through those enchanted bowers.

The city's shining towers we may not see

With our dim earthly vision,
For Death, the silent warder, keeps the key

That opes the gates elysian.

But sometimes, when adown the western sky

A fiery sunset lingers,
Its golden gates swing inward noiselessly,

Unlocked by unseen fingers.

And while they stand a moment half ajar,

Gleams from the inner glory
Stream brightly through the azure vault afar,

And half reveal the story.

O land unknown! O land of love divine!

Father, all-wise, eternal,
Oh, guide these wandering, wayworn feet of mine

Into those pastures vernal!

Nancy Priest Wakefield.

THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL

Vital spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, oh, quit this mortal frame!
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying;
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul! can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears;
Heaven opens on my eyes; my ears

With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting?

Alexander Pope.

DYING HYMN

Earth, with its dark and dreadful ills,

Recedes and fades away;
Lift up your heads, ye heavenly hills;

Ye gates of death, give way!

My soul is full of whispered song, —
My blindness is my sight;

The shadows that I feared so long
Are full of life and light.

The while my pulses fainter beat,

My faith doth so abound,
I feel grow firm beneath my feet

The green, immortal ground.

That faith to me a courage gives

Low as the grave to go;
I know that my Redeemer lives —

That I shall live I know.

The palace walls I almost see

Where dwells my Lord and King!
O grave, where is thy victory?

O death, where is thy sting?

Alice Cary

HEREAFTER

Love, when all the years are silent, vanished quite and laid to rest, When you and I are sleeping, folded breathless breast to breast, When no morrow is before us, and the long grass tosses o'er us, And our grave remains forgotten, or by alien footsteps pressed —

Still that love of ours will linger, that great love enrich the earth, Sunshine in the heavenly azure, breezes blowing joyous mirth; Fragrance fanning off from flowers, melody of summer showers, Sparkle of the spicy wood-fires round the happy autumn hearth.

That's our love. But you and I, dear—shall we linger with it yet, Mingled in one dew-drop, tangled in one sunbeam's golden net — On the violet's purple bosom, I the sheen, but you the blossom, Stream on sunset winds, and be the haze with which some hill is wet?

Or, beloved — if ascending — when we have endowed the world With the best bloom of our being, whither will our way be whirled, Through what vast and starry spaces, toward what awful, holy places,

With a white light on our faces, spirit over spirit furled?

Only this our yearning answers: wheresoe'er that way defile, Not a film shall part us through the aeons of that mighty while, In the fair eternal weather, even as phantoms still together, Floating, floating, one forever, in the light of God's great smile.

Harriet Prescott Spofford.

AT FIRST

If I should fall asleep one day,

All over-worn,
And should my spirit from the clay
Go dreaming out the Heavenward way,

Or thence be softly borne, —

I pray you, angels, do not first

Assail mine ear
With that blest anthem oft rehearsed, —
"Behold, the bonds of Death are burst," —

Lest I should faint with fear.

But let some happy bird at hand

The silence break:
So shall I dimly understand
That dawn has touched a blossoming land,

And sigh myself awake.

From that deep rest emerging so

To lift the head
And see the bath-flower's bell of snow,
The pink arbutus, and the low

Spring-beauty streaked with red,

Will all suffice — no other where

Impelled to roam,—
Till some blithe wanderer, passing fair,
Will smiling pause, of me aware,

And murmur, " Welcome home!"

So, sweetly greeted, I shall rise

To kiss her cheek;
Then lightly soar in lovely guise,
As one familiar with the skies,

Who finds, and need not seek.

Amanda T. Jones.

IMMORTALITY

Oh! listen, man!
A voice within us speaks that startling word:
"Man, thou shalt never die!" Celestial voices
Hymn it unto our souls; according harps,
By angel fingers touched, when the mild stars
Of morning sang together, sound forth still
The song of our great immortality:
Thick clustering orbs, and this our fair domain,
The tall, dark mountains, and the deep-toned seas,
Join in this solemn, universal song.

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