The great world, shouting, forward fares:
This chamber, hid from none,
Hides safe from all, for no one cares
For those whose work is done.
Cheer thee, my heart, though tired and slow
An unknown grassy place
Somewhere on earth is waiting now
To rest thee from thy race.
There is a calmer than all calms,
A quiet more deep than death:
A folding in the Father’s palms,
A breathing in his breath;
A rest made deeper by alarms
And stormy sounds combined:
The child within its mother’s arms
Sleeps sounder for the wind.
There needs no curtained bed to hide
The world with all its wars,
Nor grassy cover to divide
From sun and moon and stars
A window open to the skies,
A sense of changeless life,
With oft returning still surprise
Repels the sounds of strife.
As one bestrides a wild scared horse
Beneath a stormy moon,
And still his heart, with quiet force,
Beats on its own calm tune;
So if my heart with trouble now
Be throbbing in my breast,
Thou art my deeper heart, and Thou,
O God, dost ever rest.
When mighty sea-winds madly blow,
And tear the scattered waves;
As still as summer woods, below
Lie darkling ocean caves:
The wind of words may toss my heart,
But what is that to me!
’Tis but a surface storm—Thou art
My deep, still, resting sea.
TO A.J. SCOTT.
WITH THE FOLLOWING POEM.
I walked all night: the darkness did not yield.
Around me fell a mist, a weary rain,
Enduring long; till a faint dawn revealed
A temple’s front, cloud-curtained on the plain.
Closed were the lofty doors that led within;
But by a wicket one might entrance gain.
O light, and awe, and silence! Entering in,
The blackness and chaotic rain were lost
In hopeful spaces. Then I heard a thin
Sweet sound of voices low, together tossed,
As if they sought a harmony to find
Which they knew once; but none of all that host
Could call the far-fled music back to mind.
Loud voices, distance-low, wandered along
The pillared paths, and up the arches twined
With sister-arches, rising, throng on throng,
Up to the roof’s dim distance. If sometimes
Self-gathered voices made a burst of song,
Straightway I heard again but as the chimes
Of many bells through Sabbath morning sent,
Each its own tale to tell of heavenly climes.
Yet such the hope, one might be well content
Here to be low, and lowly keep a door;
For like Truth’s herald, solemnly that went,
I heard thy voice, and humbly loved it more,
Walking the word-sea to this ear of mine,
Than any voice of power I heard before.