So, Silence reconciles Life’s jarring phrases
Far in the future, austere and august:
Meanwhile, the buds of the poplars are falling,
Spring’s on the lawn, and a little voice calling:
“Daddy, come out! Daddy darling, you must!
Daddy come out and help Molly pick daisies!”
And, since one’s here, and the Spring’s in the garden
(How many lives hence will that thought earn pardon?)
Since one’s a man and man’s heart is insistent,
And, since Nirvana is doubtful and distant,
Though life’s a hard road and thorny to travel—
Stones in the borders and grass on the gravel,
Still there’s the wisdom that wise men call folly,
Still one can go and pick daisies with Molly!
The beatific vision.
Oh God! if I do my duty
And walk in the thorny way,
Will you pay me with heavens of beauty,
Millions of lives away?
Will you give me the music of heaven,
And the joy that none understands,
In place of what life would have given
If I had held out my hands?
I have lived in a narrow prison,
I have writhed ’neath a bitter creed,
And I dare to say that no heaven can pay
The renounced dream and deed,
But when my life’s portal closes,
If you have no heaven to spare
God! give me a garden of roses,
And some one to walk with there.
Laid close to Death, these many thousand years,
In this small seed Life hid herself and smiled;
So well she hid, Death was at least beguiled,
Set free the grain—and lo! the sevenfold ears!
Warmed by the sun, wooed by the wind’s soft
Under blue canopy they hold their state:
For this, ah, was it not worth while to wait
Through all the centuries of hope deferred?
What could they know who laid the seed with Death
Of this Divine fruition fixed and planned?
Love—since Life parts us—lend my hand your hand
And look with me into the eyes of faith.
For here between your hand and mine there lies
A little seed we trust to Death to keep
Through unimagined centuries of sleep
Until the day when Life shall bid it rise.
Our harvest waits us. Who knows where or how,
What worlds away, wrapped in what coil of pain?
But Life shall bid us pluck gold sevenfold grain
Grown from the love she bids us bury now.
The beech tree.
My beautiful beech, your smooth grey coat is
With letters. Once, each stood for all things dear
To foolish lovers, dead this many a year,
Whose lamp of lighted love so soon was dimmed.
You have seen them come and go,
And heard their kisses and vows
Under your boughs,
The pitiful vows they swore,
Have seen their poor tears flow,
Have seen them part; to meet, and to return, no more!