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THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS
AND is there care in Heaven, and is there love
There is, — else much more wretched were the case
And all His works with mercy doth embrace,
How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
To come to succor us who comfort want; How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant.
And their bright squadrons round about us plant, And all for love, and nothing for reward:
O, why should heavenly God to man have such regard?
'Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only"
GOING home from the House of God,
"Even the youngest, humblest child,
"Now what," thought she, and half sadly smiled, "Can I, so little and poor, afford?"
"Never, never a day should pass
Little Christel looked down at the grass
"Well, a day is before me now,
Yet what," thought she, "can I do if I try? If an angel of God should show me how,
But silly am I, and the hours they fly."
Then a lark sprang singing up from the sod,
"Perhaps he will carry my prayer to God,
Now she entered the village street,
And soon she came, with sober feet,
The child had a windmill that would not move,
One sail stuck fast in a puzzling groove,
Poor baby beat the sail, and cried,
While no one came from the cottage door;
But little Christel knelt down by its side,
Then babe was pleased, and the little girl
Thinking, happy windmill, that has but to whirl,
No thought of herself was in her head,
And came to a rose-tree, tall and red,
She ran to a brook that was flowing by;
She made of her two hands a nice round cup, And washed the roots of the rose-tree high,
Till it lifted its languid blossoms up.
"O happy brook!" thought little Christel,
"You have done some good this summer's clay,
You have made the flower look fresh and well ";
But she saw, as she walked by the side of the brook,
And the gurgling water seemed to say, "Look!
"How these stones obstruct my road!
How I wish they were off, and gone; Then I could flow, as once I flowed,
Singing in silvery undertone."
Then little Christel, as light as a bird,
Put off the shoes from her young white feet;
She moves two stones, she comes to the third, The brook already sings, "Thanks to you, sweet!"
O, then she hears the lark in the skies,
And thinks, "What is it to God he says?"
And she stumbles, and falls, and cannot rise,
The little brook flows on, as before,
The little lark sings with as sweet a sound;
The little babe crows at the cottage door;
And the red rose blooms, but Christel lies drowned.
Come in softly, this is the room;
Is not that an innocent face?
Think child, of Heaven, and the Lord His grace.
Three at the right, and three at the left,
The tapers burn. The friends bereft,
Have cried till their eyes are swollen and red.
Who would have thought it when little Christel
But the good wise God does all things well,
Then a little stream crept into the place,
And touched the corpse on its pale round face,
Saying, "I am a river of joy from Heaven;
You helped the brook, and I help you,
I bathe your eyes with healing dew."
Then a rose-branch in through the window came, And colored her cheeks and lips with red;
"I remember, and Heaven does the same," Was all that the faithful rose-branch said.