Lover And Friend Hast Thou Put Far From Me

Psalm lxxxviii. 18.

I HEAR the soft September rain intone,
And cheerful crickets chirping in the grass —
I bow my head, I, who am all alone:
The light winds see, and shiver as they pass.

No other thing is so bereft as I, —
The rain-drops fill, and mingle as they fall, —
The chirping cricket knows his neighbor nigh, —
Leaves sway responsive to the light wind's call.

But Friend and Lover Thou hast put afar,
And left me only Thy great, solemn sky, —
I try to pierce beyond the farthest star
To search Thee out, and find Thee ere I die;

But dim my vision is, or Thou dost hide
Thy sacred splendor from my yearning eyes:
Be pitiful, O God, and open wide
To me, bereft, Thy heavenly Paradise.

Give me one glimpse of that sweet, far-off rest —
Then I can bear Earth's solitude again;
My soul, returning from that heavenly quest,
Shall smile, triumphant, at each transient pain.

Nor would I vex my heart with grief or strife,
Though Friend and Lover Thou hast put afar,
If I could see, through my worn tent of Life,
The steadfast shining of Thy morning star.
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