Is one.” With that, the little child sighed out,
“O master! master! I am out of heaven
Since noonday, and I hear them calling me.
If you be ready, great one, let us go:—
Hark! hark! they call.”
Then did the beggar lift
His face to heaven, and utter forth a cry
As of the pangs of death, and every tree
Moved as if shaken by a sudden wind.
He cried again, and there came forth a hand
From some invisible form, which, being laid
A little moment on the curate’s eyes,
It dazzled him with light that brake from it,
So that he saw no more.
“What shall I do?”
The curate murmured, when he came again
To himself and looked about him. “This is strange!
My thoughts are all astray; and yet, methinks,
A weight is taken from my heart. Lo! lo!
There lieth at my feet, frail, white, and dead,
The sometime beggar. He is happy now.
There was a child; but he is gone, and he
Is also happy. I am glad to think
I am not bound to make the wrong go right;
But only to discover, and to do
With cheerful heart, the work that God appoints.”
With that, he did compose, with reverent care,
The dead; continuing, “I will trust in Him,
THAT HE CAN HOLD HIS OWN; and I will take
His will, above the work He sendeth me,
To be my chiefest good.”
Then went he forth,
“I shall die early,” thinking: “I am warned,
By this fair vision, that I have not long
To live.” Yet he lived on to good old age;—
Ay, he lives yet, and he is working still.
* * * * *
It may be there are many in like case:
They give themselves, and are in misery
Because the gift is small, and doth not make
The world by so much better as they fain
Would have it. ’Tis a fault; but, as for us,
Let us not blame them. Maybe, ’tis a fault
More kindly looked on by The Majesty
Than our best virtues are. Why, what are we?
What have we given, and what have we desired
To give, the world?
There must be something wrong
Look to it: let us mend our ways. Farewell.
THE SHEPHERD LADY.
Who pipes upon the long green hill,
Where meadow grass is deep?
The white lamb bleats but followeth on—
Follow the clean white sheep.
The dear white lady in yon high tower,
She hearkeneth in her sleep.
All in long grass the piper stands,
Goodly and grave is he;
Outside the tower, at dawn of day,
The notes of his pipe ring free.
A thought from his heart doth reach to hers:
“Come down, O lady! to me.”
She lifts her head, she dons her gown:
Ah! the lady is fair;
She ties the girdle on her waist,
And binds her flaxen hair,
And down she stealeth, down and down,
Down the turret stair.