’Shall we meet? We shall meet on the other side, but not before. I shall be pure and fair, I shall hear the sound of THE NAME, And see the form of His face. You too will walk on that shore, In the garden of the Lord God, where neither is sorrow nor shame.
Farewell, I shall bide alone, for God took my one
I work for such as she was, and I will the while I last,
But there’s no beginning again, ever I am what I am,
And nothing, nothing, nothing, can do away with the past.
SONGS AND POEMS
LOVE AND CHILDHOOD.
LETTERS ON LIFE AND THE MORNING.
(First of a Series.)
A PARSON’S LETTER TO A YOUNG POET.
They said “Too late, too late, the work is done;
Great Homer sang of glory and strong men
And that fair Greek whose fault all these long
Wins no forgetfulness nor ever can;
For yet cold eyes upon her frailty bend,
For yet the world waits in the victor’s tent
Daily, and sees an old man honourable,
His white head bowed, surprise to passionate tears
Awestruck Achilles; sighing, ’I have endured,
The like whereof no soul hath yet endured,
To kiss the hand of him that slew my son.’”
They said: “We, rich by him, are rich by
One Aeschylus found watchfires on a hill
That lit Old Night’s three daughters to their work;
When the forlorn Fate leaned to their red light
And sat a-spinning, to her feet he came
And marked her till she span off all her thread.
“O, it is late, good sooth, to cry for more:
The work once done, well done,” they said, “forbear!
A Tuscan afterward discovered steps
Over the line of life in its mid-way;
He climbed the wall of Heaven, beheld his love
Safe at her singing, and he left his foes
In a vale of shadow weltering, unassoiled
Immortal sufferers henceforth in both worlds.
“Who may inherit next or who shall match
The Swan of Avon and go float with him
Down the long river of life aneath a sun
Not veiled, and high at noon?—the river of life
That as it ran reflected all its lapse
And rippling on the plumage of his breast?
“Thou hast them, heed them, for thy poets now,
Albeit of tongue full sweet and majesty
Like even to theirs, are fallen on evil days,
Are wronged by thee of life, wronged of the world.
Look back they must and show thee thy fair past,
Or, choosing thy to-day, they may but chant
As they behold.
“The mother-glowworm broods
Upon her young, fast-folded in the egg
And long before they come to life they shine—
The mother-age broods on her shining thought
That liveth, but whose life is hid. He comes
Her poet son, and lo you, he can see
The shining, and he takes it to his breast
And fashions for it wings that it may fly
And show its sweet light in the dusky world.