Dream? Feed your soul
With dreams, while we must starve our hearts on clay,
Dream of a glorious white-winged sun-crowned day
When you shall see her once more face to face
Beside Christ’s Mother in the blessed place!
But while you dream, they carry her from here,
The black bells toll and toll.
Oh God! if only she cannot see or hear,
Not hear those ghoul-like bells that crowd so near,
Not see that cold clay hole.
IN MEMORY OF
Who Died on October 25th, 1899.
There was a day,
A horrible Autumn day,
When from her home, the home she made for ours
And that day made a nightmare of white flowers
And folk in black who whispered pityingly,
They carried her away;
And left our hearts all cold
And empty, yet with such a store to hold
Of sodden grief the slow drops still ooze out,
And, falling on all fair things, they wither these.
Tears came with time—but not with time went by.
And still we wander desolate about
The poor changed house, the garden and the croft,
Warm kitchen, sunny parlour, with the soft
Intolerable pervading memories
Of her whose face and voice made melodies,
Sweet unforgotten songs of mother-love—
Dear songs of all the little joys that were.
We see the sun, and have no joy thereof,
Because she gathered in her dying hands
And carried with her to the fair far lands
The flower of all our joy, because she went
Out of the garden where her days were spent,
And took the very sun away with her.
The cross stands at her head.
Over her breast, that loving mother-breast,
Close buds of pansies purple and white are pressed.
It seems a place for rest,
For happy folded sleep; but ah, not there,
Not there, not there, our hardest tears are shed,
But in the house made empty for her sake.
Here, in the night intolerable, wake
The hungry passionate pains of Love still strong
To fight with death the bitter slow night long.
Then the rich price that poor Love has to pay
Is paid, slow drop by drop, till the new day
With thin cold fingers pushes back night’s wings,
And drags us out to common cruel things
That sting, and barb their stings with memory.
O Love—and is the price too hard to give?
Thine is the splendour of all things that live,
And this thy pain the price of life to thee—
The sacrament that binds to the beloved,
The chain that holds though mountains be removed,
The portent of thine immortality.
So, in the house of pain imprisoned, we
Endure our bondage, and work out our time,
Nor seek from out our dungeon walls to climb—
Bondsmen, who would not, if we could, be free.
Thank God, our hands still hold Love’s cord—and she—
Do not her hands still clasp the cord we hold,
Drawing us near, coiling bright fold on fold,
Till the far day when it shall draw us near
To the sight of her—her living hands, her dear
Tired face, grown weary of watching for our face?
And we shall hold her, in the happy place,
And hear her voice, the old same voice we knew—
“Ah! children, I am tired of wanting you!”