But while we raise the cup of bliss so high,
Another shore beneath a sad, far sky
Waiteth her tide,
And thirsts with sad complainings still denied.
On earth’s remotest bound she sits and
In doubt and pain;
Our joy is signal for her sad estates;
Like dull refrain
Marring our song, her sighings rise in vain.
To each his turn—the ebb-tide and
The less, the more—
God metes his portions justly out, I know;
But still before
My mind forever floats that pale and grieving shore.
She has been just a year in Heaven.
Unmarked by white moon or gold sun,
By stroke of clock or clang of bell,
Or shadow lengthening on the way,
In the full noon and perfect day,
In Safety’s very citadel,
The happy hours have sped, have run;
And, rapt in peace, all pain forgot,
She whom we love, her white soul shriven,
Smiles at the thought and wonders not.
We have been just a year alone,—
A year whose calendar is sighs,
And dull, perpetual wishfulness,
And smiles, each covert for a tear,
And wandering thoughts, half there, half here,
And weariful attempts to guess
The secret of the hiding skies,
The soft, inexorable blue,
With gleaming hints of glory sown,
And Heaven behind, just shining through.
So sweet, so sad, so swift, so slow,
So full of eager growth and light,
So full of pain which blindly grows,
So full of thoughts which either way
Have passed and crossed and touched each day,
To us a thorn, to her a rose;
The year so black, the year so white,
Like rivers twain their course have run;
The earthly stream we trace and know,
But who shall paint the heavenly one?
A year! We gather up our powers,
Our lamps we consecrate and trim;
Open all windows to the day,
And welcome every heavenly air.
We will press forward and will bear,
Having this word to cheer the way:
She, storm-tossed once, is safe with Him,
Healed, comforted, content, forgiven;
And while we count these heavy hours
Has been a year,—a year in Heaven.
Each day upon the yellow Nile, ’tis said.
Joseph, the youthful ruler, cast forth wheat,
That haply, floating to his father’s feet,—
The sad old father, who believed him dead,—
It might be sign in Egypt there was bread;
And thus the patriarch, past the desert sands
And scant oasis fringed with thirsty green,
Be lured toward the love that yearned unseen.
So, flung and scattered—ah! by what dear hands?—
On the swift-rushing and invisible tide,
Small tokens drift adown from far, fair lands,
And say to us, who in the desert bide,
“Are you athirst? Are there no sheaves to bind?
Beloved, here is fulness; follow on and find.”