A year of progress,
in the love
That’s only learned in heaven; thy mind
Unclogged of clay, and free to soar,
Hath left the realms of doubt behind,
And wondrous things which finite thought
In vain essayed to solve, appear
To thy untasked inquiries, fraught
With explanation strangely clear.
Thy reason owns no forced control,
As held it here in needful thrall;
God’s mysteries court thy questioning soul,
And thou may’st search and know them all.
A year of love;
thy yearning heart
Was always tender, e’en to tears,
With sympathies, whose sacred art
Made holy all thy cherished years;
But love, whose speechless ecstasy
Had overborne the finite, now
Throbs through thy being, pure and free,
And burns upon thy radiant brow.
For thou those hands’ dear clasp hast felt,
Where still the nail-prints are displayed;
And thou before that face hast knelt,
Which wears the scars the thorns have made.
A year without thee;
I had thought
My orphaned heart would break and die,
Ere time had meek quiescence brought,
Or soothed the tears it could not dry;
And yet I live, to faint and quail
Before the human grief I bear;
To miss thee so, then drown the wail
That trembles on my lips in prayer.
Thou praising, while I vainly thrill;
Thou glorying, while I weakly pine;
And thus between thy heart and mine
The distance ever widening still.
A year of tears
to me; to thee
The end of thy probation’s strife,
The archway to eternity,
The portal of immortal life;
To me the pall, the bier, the sod;
To thee the palm of victory given.
Enough, my heart; thank God! thank God!
That thou hast been a year in heaven.
The silence of the dead.
Dear, beauteous Death, the
jewel of the just.
Shining nowhere but in the dark,
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could men outlook that mark!
He that hath found some fledged bird’s nest, may know,
At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair field, or grove, he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.
The silence of the dead is one of the most impressive and affecting things connected with the separate state of the soul. We hear the voice of a dying friend, in some last wish, or charge, or prayer, or farewell, or in some exclamation of joy or hope; and though years are multiplied over the dead, that voice returns no more in any moment of day or night, of joy or sorrow, of labor or rest, in life or in death.