Arise

Who says, the wan autumnal sun
Beams with too faint a smile
To light up nature's face again,
And though the year be on the wane,
With thoughts of spring the heart beguile!

Watt him, thou soft September breeze,
And gently lay him down
Within some circling woodland wall,
Where bright leaves, reddening ere they fall,
Wave gaily o'er the waters brown.

And let some graceful arch be there
With wreathed mullions proud,
With burnish'd ivy for its screen,
And moss, that glows as fresh and green
As though beneath an April cloud.—

Who says the widow's heart must break,
The childless mother sink?—
A kinder, truer voice I hear,
Which e'en beside that mournful bier
Whence parents' eyes would hopeless shrink,

Bids weep no more—O heart bereft,
How strange, to thee, that sound!
A widow o'er her only son,
Feeling more bitterly alone
For friends that press officious round.

Yet is the voice of comfort heard,
For Christ hath touch'd the bier—
The bearers wait with wondering eye,
The swelling bosom dares not sigh,
But all is still, 'twixt hope and fear.

E'en such an awful soothing calm
We sometimes see alight
On Christian mourners, while they wait
In silence, by some Church-yard gate,
Their summons to the holy rite.

And such the tones of love, which break
The stillness of that hour,
Quelling th' embitter'd spirit's strife—
“The Resurrection and the Life
Am I: believe, and die no more.”—

Unchang'd that voice—and though not yet
The dead sit up and speak,
Answering its Call; we gladlier rest
Our darlings on earth's quiet breast,
And our hearts feel they must not break.

Far better they should sleep awhile
Within the Church's shade,
Nor wake, until new heaven, new earth,
Meet for their new immortal birth
For their abiding-place be made,

Than wander back to life, and lean
On our frail love once more.
'Tis sweet, as year by year we lose
Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
How grows in Paradise our store.

Then pass, ye mourners, cheerly on,
Through prayer unto the tomb,
Still, as ye watch life's falling leaf,
Gathering from every loss and grief
Hope of new spring and endless home.

Then cheerly to your work again
With hearts new-brac'd and set
To run, untir'd, love's blessèd race,
As meet for those, who face to face
Over the grave their Lord have met.
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.