On a picture of Ruth
Fresh, through the mist of ages past,
Thou risest on our view,
As when from Judah's waving fields,
Thy footsteps brushed the dew.
Yet 'tis not for thy beauty's sake
We thus remember thee;
Although a chieftain's captive heart
Attests its potency; --
Not for the quiet interest
Thy simple story brings;
And not that from thy side there sprung
A line of prophet-kings.
But for that changeless, deathless love,
The true soul only knows,
That still, as darker lowers the night,
Serener, brighter glows.
That love that led thee forth to seek
The stranger's chill abode, --
Upon whose altar thou couldst lay
Thy home, thy land, thy God.