Lean Down

Lean down and lift me higher, Josephine!
From the Eternal Hills hast thou not seen
How I do strive for heights? but lacking wings,
I cannot grasp at once those better things
To which I in my inmost soul aspire.
Lean down and lift me higher.

I grope along—not desolate or sad,
For youth and hope and health all keep me glad;
But too bright sunlight, sometimes, makes us blind,
And I do grope for heights I cannot find.
Oh, thou must know my one supreme desire—
Lean down and lift me higher.

Not long ago we trod the self-same way.
Thou knowest how, from day to fleeting day
Our souls were vexed with trifles, and our feet,
Were lured aside to by-paths which seemed sweet,
But only served to hinder and to tire;
Lean down and lift me higher.

Thou hast gone onward to the heights serene,
And left me here, my loved one, Josephine;
I am content to stay until the end,
For life is full of promise; but, my friend,
Canst thou not help me in my best desire
And lean, and lift me higher?

Frail as thou wert, thou hast grown strong and wise,
And quick to understand and sympathize
With all a full soul's needs. It must be so,
Thy year with God hath made thee great I know.
Thou must see how I struggle and aspire—
Oh, warm me with a breath of heavenly fire,
And lean, and lift me higher.
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