Bids weep no more—O heart bereft,
How strange, to thee, that sound!
A widow o’er her only son,
Feeling more bitterly alone
For friends that press officious round.
Yet is the voice of comfort heard,
For Christ hath touched the bier —
The bearers wait with wondering eye,
The swelling bosom dares not sigh,
But all is still, ’twixt hope and fear.
E’en such an awful soothing calm
We sometimes see alight
On Christian mourners, while they wait
In silence, by some churchyard gate,
Their summons to this holy rite.
And such the tones of love, which break
The stillness of that hour,
Quelling th’ embittered spirit’s strife —
“The Resurrection and the Life
Am I: believe, and die no more.”
Unchanged that voice—and though not yet
The dead sit up and speak,
Answering its call; we gladlier rest
Our darlings on earth’s quiet breast,
And our hearts feel they must not break.
Far better they should sleep awhile
Within the Church’s shade,
Nor wake, until new heaven, new earth,
Meet for their new immortal birth
For their abiding-place be made,
Than wander back to life, and lean
On our frail love once more.
’Tis sweet, as year by year we lose
Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
How grows in Paradise our store.
Then pass, ye mourners, cheerly on,
Through prayer unto the tomb,
Still, as ye watch life’s falling leaf,
Gathering from every loss and grief
Hope of new spring and endless home.
Then cheerly to your work again
With hearts new-braced and set
To run, untired, love’s blessed race.
As meet for those, who face to face
Over the grave their Lord have met.
Is there, in bowers of endless
One known from all the seraph band
By softer voice, by smile and wing
More exquisitely bland!
Here let him speed: to-day this hallowed air
Is fragrant with a mother’s first and fondest prayer.
Only let Heaven her fire impart,
No richer incense breathes on earth:
“A spouse with all a daughter’s heart,”
Fresh from the perilous birth,
To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye,
Like a reviving flower when storms are hushed on high.
Oh, what a treasure of sweet
Is here! what hope and joy and love
All in one tender bosom brought,
For the all-gracious Dove
To brood o’er silently, and form for Heaven
Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection given.
Her fluttering heart, too keenly
Would sicken, but she leans on Thee,
Sees Thee by faith on Mary’s breast,
And breathes serene and free.
Slight tremblings only of her veil declare
Soft answers duly whispered to each soothing prayer.