Thou liest, Hope," 'tis said, when unfulfilled
Thy promises on life's worn footpaths rest;
When roofless stands the temple thou didst build;
But what say they who know and love thee best? —
"Though the rich light which filled the morning skies
Increase and fade into the depths of night,
We sin if we believe the radiance dies,
When, with slow steps, it leaves our common sight:
Once to have seen is surely still to see!
So when we speak of early Hope as dead,
We take our hold of words but carelessly,
Forgetful that on hope the spirit fed,
And gained — in losing even the truth to be —
The present truth of self-maturity!"
Ah ! still the heart sighs on — Then seek again
Some larger light 'mid drifting clouds of gloom;
For surely something, say you, must remain
After Hope's death, — some flowers grace her tomb!
Nay, tenderly, for she may not be dead,
But sleeping, charmed, until your life kiss hers
Into the living Beauty which you fled
To place your love beside. She ministers
Not as we do even to our dearest guest;
For banquet as we may, hunger is still
A few hours distant only, — but her best
Comes last, and ends all hunger! Wherefore fill
Thy heart with sorrow? Somewhere, it must be
Thy pure, high hopes touch God's desires for thee!