Methinks I hear, as I lie slowly dying,
Indulgent friends say, weeping, “He was good.”
I fail to speak, a faint denial trying,—
They answer, “His humility withstood.”
I, knowing better, part with love unspoken;
And find the unknown world not all unknown.
The bonds that held me from my centre broken,
I seek my home, the Saviour’s homely throne.
How He will greet me, I walk on and wonder;
And think I know what I will say to Him.
I fear no sapphire floor of cloudy thunder,
I fear no passing vision great and dim.
But He knows all my unknown weary story:
How will He judge me, pure, and good, and fair?
I come to Him in all His conquered glory,
Won from such life as I went dreaming there!
I come; I fall before Him, faintly saying:
“Ah, Lord, shall I thy loving favour win?
Earth’s beauties tempted me; my walk was straying—
I have no honour—but may I come in?”
“I know thee well. Strong prayer did keep
To me the earth is very lovely too.
Thou shouldst have come to me to make thee able
To love it greatly—but thou hast got through.”
Lord of the world’s undying youth,
What joys are in thy might!
What beauties of the inner truth,
And of the outer sight!
And when the heart is dim and sad,
Too weak for wisdom’s beam,
Thou sometimes makest it right glad
With but a childish dream.
* * * * *
Lo! I will dream this windy day;
No sunny spot is bare;
Dull vapours, in uncomely play,
Are weltering through the air.
If I throw wide my windowed breast
To all the blasts that blow,
My soul will rival in unrest
Those tree-tops—how they go!
But I will dream like any child;
For, lo! a mighty swan,
With radiant plumage undented,
And folded airy van,
With serpent neck all proudly bent,
And stroke of swarthy oar,
Dreams on to me, by sea-maids sent
Over the billows hoar.
For in a wave-worn rock I lie;
Outside, the waters foam;
And echoes of old storms go by
Within my sea-built dome.
The waters, half the gloomy way,
Beneath its arches come;
Throbbing to unseen billows’ play,
The green gulfs waver dumb.
A dawning twilight through the cave
In moony gleams doth go,
Half from the swan above the wave,
Half from the swan below.
Close to my feet she gently drifts,
Among the glistening things;
She stoops her crowny head, and lifts
White shoulders of her wings.
Oh! earth is rich with many a nest,
Deep, soft, and ever new,
Pure, delicate, and full of rest;
But dearest there are two.
I would not tell them but to minds
That are as white as they;
If others hear, of other kinds,
I wish them far away.