When God created this good world
A few stupendous peaks were hurled
From His strong hand, and they remain
The wonder of the level plain.
But these colossal heights are rare,
While shifting sands are everywhere.
So with the race. The centuries pass
And nations fall like leaves of grass.
They die, forgotten and unsung;
While straight from God some souls are flung,
To live immortal and sublime.
So lives great Lincoln for all time.
I KNOW NOT
Death! I know not what room you are abiding
But I will go my way,
Rejoicing day by day,
Nor will I flee or stay
For fear I tread the path you may be hiding in.
Death! I know not, if my small barque be nearing
But if you are at sea,
Still there my sails float free;
‘What is to be will be.’
Nor will I mar the happy voyage by fearing you.
Death! I know not, what hour or spot you wait
My days untroubled flow,
Just trusting on, I go,
For oh, I know, I know,
Death is but Life that holds some glad new fate for me.
The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer;
The headstones thicken along the way,
And life grows sadder, but love grows stronger,
For those who walk with us day by day.
The tear comes quicker, the laugh comes slower;
The courage is lesser to do and dare;
And the tide of joy in the heart falls lower,
And seldom covers the reefs of care.
But all true things in the world seem truer;
And the better things of earth seem best,
And friends are dearer, as friends are fewer,
And love is all as our sun dips west.
Then let us clasp hands as we walk together,
And let us speak softly in love’s sweet tone;
For no man knows on the morrow whether
We two pass on—or but one alone.
Pausing a moment ere the day was done,
While yet the earth was scintillant with light,
I backward glanced. From valley, plain, and height,
At intervals, where my life-path had run,
Rose cross on cross; and nailed upon each one
Was my dead self. And yet that gruesome sight
Lent sudden splendour to the falling night,
Showing the conquests that my soul had won.
Up to the rising stars I looked and cried,
’There is no death! for year on year, re-born
I wake to larger life: to joy more great,
So many times have I been crucified,
So often seen the resurrection morn,
I go triumphant, though new Calvaries wait.
THE VOICES OF THE CITY
The voices of the city—merged and swelled Into a mighty dissonance of sound, And from the medley rose these broken strains In changing time and ever-changing keys.