“I have not all;
He moves me thus to take of Him what lacks.
My want is God’s desire to give,—He yearns
To add Himself to life and so for aye
Make it enough.”
A thought by night, a wish
After the morning, and behold it dawns
Pathetic in a still solemnity,
And mighty words are said for him once more,
“Let there be light.” Great heaven and earth have heard,
And God comes down to him, and Christ doth rise.
THE MONITIONS OF THE UNSEEN.
There are who give themselves to work for men,—
To raise the lost, to gather orphaned babes
And teach them, pitying of their mean estate,
To feel for misery, and to look on crime
With ruth, till they forget that they themselves
Are of the race, themselves among the crowd
Under the sentence and outside the gate,
And of the family and in the doom.
Cold is the world; they feel how cold it is,
And wish that they could warm it. Hard is life
For some. They would that they could soften it;
And, in the doing of their work, they sigh
As if it was their choice and not their lot;
And, in the raising of their prayer to God,
They crave his kindness for the world he made,
Till they, at last, forget that he, not they,
Is the true lover of man.
* * * * *
Now, in an ancient town, that had sunk low,—
Trade having drifted from it, while there stayed
Too many, that it erst had fed, behind,—
There walked a curate once, at early day.
It was the summer-time; but summer air
Came never, in its sweetness, down that dark
And crowded alley,—never reached the door
Whereat he stopped,—the sordid, shattered door.
He paused, and, looking right and left, beheld
Dirt and decay, the lowering tenements
That leaned toward each other; broken panes
Bulging with rags, and grim with old neglect;
And reeking hills of formless refuse, heaped
To fade and fester in a stagnant air.
But he thought nothing of it: he had learned
To take all wretchedness for granted,—he,
Reared in a stainless home, and radiant yet
With the clear hues of healthful English youth,
Had learned to kneel by beds forlorn, and stoop
Under foul lintels. He could touch, with hand
Unshrinking, fevered fingers; he could hear
The language of the lost, in haunt and den,—
So dismal, that the coldest passer-by
Must needs be sorry for them, and, albeit
They cursed, would dare to speak no harder words
Than these,—“God help them!”
Ay! a learned man
The curate in all woes that plague mankind,—
Too learned, for he was but young. His heart
Had yearned till it was overstrained, and now
He—plunged into a narrow slough unblest,
Had struggled with its deadly waters, till
His own head had gone under, and he took
Small joy in work he could not look to aid