For it is like the sunlight,
So strong and pure and warm,
That folds all good and happy things,
And guards from gloom and harm.
And it is like the moonlight,
So holy and so calm;
The rapt peace of a summer night,
When soft winds die in balm.
And it is like the starlight;
For, love her as I may,
She dwells still lofty and serene
In mystery far away.
I strove, like Israel, with my youth,
And said, Till thou bestow
Upon my life Love’s joy and truth,
I will not let thee go.
And sudden on my night there woke
The trouble of the dawn;
Out of the east the red light broke,
To broaden on and on.
And now let death be far or nigh,
Let fortune gloom or shine,
I cannot all untimely die,
For love, for love is mine.
My days are tuned to finer chords,
And lit by higher suns;,
Through all my thoughts and all my words
A purer purpose runs.
The blank page of my heart grows rife
With wealth of tender lore;
Her image, stamped upon my life,
Gives value evermore.
She is so noble, firm, and true,
I drink truth from her eyes,
As violets gain the heaven’s own blue
In gazing at the skies.
No matter if my hands attain
The golden crown or cross
Only to love is such a gain
That losing is not loss.
And thus whatever fate betide
Of rapture or of pain,
If storm or sun the future hide,
My love is not in vain.
So only thanks are on my lips;
And through my love I see
My earliest dreams, like freighted ships,
Come sailing home to me.
When violets were springing
And sunshine filled the day,
And happy birds were singing
The praises of the May,
A word came to me, blighting
The beauty of the scene,
And in my heart was winter,
Though all the trees were green.
Now down the blast go sailing
The dead leaves, brown and sere;
The forests are bewailing
The dying of the year;
A word comes to me, lighting
With rapture all the air,
And in my heart is summer,
Though all the trees are bare.
My short and happy day is done,
The long and dreary night comes on;
And at my door the Pale Horse stands,
To carry me to unknown lands.
His whinny shrill, his pawing hoof,
Sound dreadful as a gathering storm;
And I must leave this sheltering roof,
And joys of life so soft and warm.
Tender and warm the joys of life,—
Good friends, the faithful and the true;
My rosy children and my wife,
So sweet to kiss, so fair to view.