Sometimes a nest, where weary things,
And weal; and shy,
Are brooded under mother wings
Till they can fly.
And then a palace, with wide rooms
Adorned and dressed,
Where eager slaves pour sweet perfumes
For each new guest.
Whiche’er it be, I know always
Within that door—
Whose latch it is not mine to raise—
With breath of balm upon its wing,
A soft, still air,
Which makes each closely folded thing
Look always fair.
My darlings, do you feel me near,
As every day
Into this hidden place and dear
I take my way?
Always you stand in radiant guise,
Always I see
A noiseless welcome in the eyes
You turn on me.
And, whether I come soon or late,
Always within the guarded gate
I find you all.
All green and fair the Summer lies,
Just budded from the bud of Spring,
With tender blue of wistful skies,
And winds which softly sing.
Her clock has struck its morning hours;
Noon nears—the flowery dial is true;
But still the hot sun veils its powers,
In deference to the dew.
Yet there amid the fresh new green,
Amid the young broods overhead,
A single scarlet branch is seen,
Swung like a banner red;
Tinged with the fatal hectic flush
Which, when October frost is in the near,
Flames on each dying tree and bush,
To deck the dying year.
And now the sky seems not so blue,
The yellow sunshine pales its ray,
A sorrowful, prophetic hue
Lies on the radiant day,
As mid the bloom and tenderness
I catch that scarlet menace there,
Like a gray sudden wintry tress
Set in a child’s bright hair.
The birds sing on, the roses blow,
But like a discord heard but now,
A stain upon the petal’s snow
Is that one sad, red bough.
“He that Believeth shall not make haste.”
The aloes grow upon the sand,
The aloes thirst with parching heat;
Year after year they waiting stand,
Lonely and calm, and front the beat
Of desert winds; and still a sweet
And subtle voice thrills all their veins:
“Great patience wins; it still remains,
After a century of pains,
To you to bloom and be complete.”
I grow upon a thorny waste;
Hot noontide lies on all the way,
And with its scorching breath makes haste
Each freshening dawn to burn and slay,
Yet patiently I bide and stay:
Knowing the secret of my fate,
The hour of bloom, dear Lord, I wait,
Come when it will, or soon or late,
A hundred years are but a day.