In joy she grew from year to year;
And sorrow made her sweeter;
And every comfort, still more kind;
And every loss, completer.
Her children came to love her name,—
“Christina,”—’twas a lip’s caress;
And when they called, they seemed to bless.
No more they call, for she is gone
Too far away to hear them;
And yet they often breathe her name
As if she lingered near them;
They cannot reach her with love’s speech,
But when they say “Christina” now
’Tis like a prayer or like a vow:
A vow to keep her life alive
In deeds of pure affection,
So that her love shall find in them
A daily resurrection;
A constant prayer that they may wear
Some touch of that supernal light
With which she blossoms in God’s sight.
What shall I give for thee,
Thou Pearl of greatest price?
For all the treasures I possess
Would not suffice.
I give my store of gold;
It is but earthly dross:
But thou wilt make me rich, beyond
All fear of loss.
Mine honours I resign;
They are but small at best:
Thou like a royal star wilt shine
Upon my breast.
My worldly joys I give,
The flowers with which I played;
Thy beauty, far more heavenly fair,
Shall never fade.
Dear Lord, is that enough?
Nay, not a thousandth part.
Well, then, I have but one thing more:
Take Thou my heart.
TO THE CHILD JESUS
Could every time-worn heart but see Thee
A happy human child, among the homes of men,
The age of doubt would pass,—the vision of Thy face
Would silently restore the childhood of the race.
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
Thou wayfaring Jesus, a pilgrim and stranger,
Exiled from heaven by love at thy birth,
Exiled again from thy rest in the manger,
A fugitive child ’mid the perils of earth,—
Cheer with thy fellowship all who are weary,
Wandering far from the land that they love;
Guide every heart that is homeless and dreary,
Safe to its home in thy presence above.
Just to give up, and trust
All to a Fate unknown,
Plodding along life’s road in the dust,
Bounded by walls of stone;
Never to have a heart at peace;
Never to see when care will cease;
Just to be still when sorrows fall—
This is the bitterest lesson of all.