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They bear another to the field of graves:
Dost ask, And who was he? Thou may'st soon know.
That weeper is his widow, who, indeed,
Altho' so mournful now-so full of grief,—
Was, not long since, as cheerful and as happy,
As, at this hour, she is with sorrow darken'd.
Those children hardly know how great their loss,
But know their loss is great. To them no more,
When the deep shades of Even gather round,
Will he return to light them up with gladness,
Who was their happy father. O, the night!
And now another sad procession cometh.
Unto the City of the Dead they bear
One of a ripe old age,—a good old man,
Who had become, a second time, a child.
He had been waiting for this Tide of Even,
As one who waiteth for the welcome hour
That changes hope to joy. And tho' he seem'd
By death to be forgotten, yet he said
That, at the time appointed, Death would come.
Would come-but how? Not as a fearborn thing;
Not as a monster with despairing moans;
Not as a prison-keeper bringing chains
Wherewith to bind the spirit evermore ;
But as a Son of Light from highest heaven-
A minister of happiness and glory-
An opener of the gates of joyful life,
And freedom fair for ever, and for ever.
But if death reigns throughout the living world,
Life reigns o'er death; for from the Lord of being-
The Author and the Giver of all life-
Proceeds a principle of animation
No darkness can obscure, no flame consume,
No depth of water drown. The human spirit
Quickened by inspiration from above,
Living by faith in hope of full redemption,
Owns a new birth-a life divinely new-
That-when the stars like dying flow'rs shall fade,
And the bright sun goes out like common flame,—
Shall triumph in the happiness of heaven,
Bright with the glory of divine existence,
And live the life of love for evermore.
THE ARGUMENT.-Morning and its lessons. Night and its teachings. As night by day, so death by life must be succeeded. All light-material, intellectual, or moral, is divine.
The morning cometh,-cometh also night,
And both as teachers.
Clear the voice of morn,
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Telling of might and majesty divine,
In tones as gentle as the honey-dew
That gilds the leaf with sweetness. It reveals
Its cheerful self by its own cheerful light,
And sweeps away the darkness with a smile.
O who can bar the way or hush the voice
Of the fair morn, the mighty, and the mild!
It speaketh to the bird in vernal bower,
To the sweet warblers on the ground reposing,
To merry melodists of wood and wild,
Whom God looks after-saying, "Rise and sing!"
And forthwith morning with their music rings.
It speaketh to the wilderness of waters
That all night long had muffled up in mourning, Saying "Be cheerful!" and forthwith the waves Give back the splendour of the voice that speaketh,
And lift a look of glory up to heaven.
It speaketh to the earth, and lo, the fields
Appear in graceful robes of flowing green,
And flowers look up through pearly tears of dew,
And learn to smile as if there ne'er had been
A cause for tears in all the shining land.
But for us, chiefly-for the sons of men,
Is the great lesson of the morning given;
Teaching in words the world can understand,
How glorious far above all human thought,
He is, who made the sun to rule the day.
The Tide of Even cometh as a teacher,
With lessons of its own. Who, when the sun
Behind the Western hills goes out of sight-
Who can forbid the blending of the shades,
And deepening of the gloom? Have we not
How all the splendour of illuminations
Has failed as fully to defeat the night,
And drive the shadows to their daytime caves,
As a child's voice would fail to stop the storm,
Or hush the tempest into calm repose?
But though the shadows solemnly expand,
And clouds above in aid of night conspire,
Yet the fair stars and sweetly smiling moon
Look down from heaven, and tell amid the gloom,
That earth is not forsaken nor forgotten.
O night, thou hearest voices of the skies,
Speaking in tones of tenderness to earth,
Declaring how, that as the shining stars
From everywhere above look down upon us,
So He who made the stars, and is with them
As light is with the sun, is truly near us;
And as a mother's voice commandeth silence
Lest any wake her babe that sweetly sleepeth,
So God speaks silence, and the world is quiet,
"For so He giveth his beloved sleep."
We speak of life as day, of death as night;
But night and day are both divinely given.
What gift of God could we to lose afford?
Or losing should not suffer for the loss ?
Is not the night as needful as the day?
Have we not seen in brightly vision'd horror,
How that the world, were it to lose the night,
Would soon itself be lost in mournful ruin ?
Heard we not, then, the voice of desolation
Call strangely on destruction that obey'd,
And wound his burning arms about the globe,
And bore it like a comet far away,
Into the centre af the midday sun,
Because that night had from the earth retired ?
If in this teaching be the tone of truth,-
If knowledge in analogy be found,—
If night be welcome after weary toil,
Then may not death as certainly be welcome-
As truly bring repose ? And may it not
Be followed by a morning of delight,
As surely as the sunset in the West
Is by the sunrise followed, and the song?
If not, how poor the metaphor in meaning,
That teaches-death is night, and life is day!
O, but the hope will not be disappointed,