Littell's Living Age/Volume 138/Issue 1788/By-and-By


Be quiet, restless heart! The long light lies
In gleams of lingering sunshine on the hill;
The home-bound swallow, twittering as he flies,
Makes silence seem more still.

The shadows deeper grow, and in the woods
The air a latent sweetness holds in fee;
An odor faint of yet unblossomed buds —
So like, dear heart, to thee!

Far distant in the soft, cerulean deep,
Where the horizon bounds the nether world,
Great ships becalmed, like brooding birds asleep,
Lie with white sails loose furled.

In peace the day is ended, and the night
Falleth as doth a veil upon the sea;
Along its bosom come with swift-winged flight
The gray mists silently.

O anxious heart, how Nature speaks! Her power
How leisurely she uses! How intense
The infinite peace of her most fruitful hour!
How soft her influence!

Time hath she for her Storms to sweep the main;
To rock the treetops with her winds of wrath;
To bring forth fragrance in the summer rain;
And time for snow she hath.

So, dear, for all thy eager soul desires,
She keeps sweet times and seasons. In her mood
Is hid for thee all passion's subtle fires,
To round thy womanhood.

Cease, then! and in this dewy twilight, move
As one who asks not whither, cares not why;
This gift for all holds still the eternal love —
God's endless by-and-by.

Primitive Methodist.