The secret of they grief I may not know,
Since that thy lips refuse the tale to tell;
Methinks, dear child, it was the sound of woe
That woke an echo in my heart’s deep well.
The wail of a spirit that a-yearning gropes
In darkness for the sunlight that is fled;
A broken idol in secret wept, and hopes—
Crushed hopes—that are to thee as are the dead.
A tender memory ling’ring yet of when
Each bounding pulse beat faster with its joy;
A something that allured, and won, and then
With waking fled, and years may not destroy
The impress which it left upon thy brain
But seek thee, child, grief’s ravaging to stay?
Thy tears might fall as falls the show’ring rain,
They could not wash the heart’s deep scars away.
Repine thee not; shroud not they faith in gloom;
Shrink not to meet a disappointment’s frown;
Away beyond the narrow bordered tomb,
Who here have borne the cross may wear the crown.
Whisper to him, fairies, whisper—
Whisper softly in his ear
That some one is waiting, waiting,
Listening his step to hear.
Fairies, if he knew his presence
Would a demon’s spell allay,
Would he heed your timid whisperings?
Would he—will he come to-day?
Fairies whisper, every whisper,
In the silence of the night,
And he catches the soft murmurs
Floating in the starry light.
And they tell him; yes, they tell him,
All in accents sweet and clear,
Of the beautiful Hereafter
That is ever drawing near.
There are loved ones, waiting, waiting,
For his footfall on the shore;
They will welcome his appearing—
They will greet him o’er and o’er.
Oh, would the fairies to her whisper
The truths which they to him impart,
Teach her a beautiful hereafter,
A Heaven to bless a tired heart.
Yet thinks she that the dear ones waiting
Would envy not the boon she craves—
To rear fair friendship’s sacred alter
Where love and hope sleep in their graves.
She knows not that a loving welcome
Will wait her in a realm of light,
Nought of a future meeting whispers,
No faith illumes her soul’s dark night.
But oh! she knows, has by experience,
The saddest of all lessons learned;
Knows that she gathered dead-sea apples,
Which in her hands to ashes turned.
She knows into a trammelled torrent,
Is changed her life’s free flowing tide;
Knows that her hand no oar is holding,
With which her drifting bark to guide.