Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The call


Isai. xlviii., 15. Yea I have called him, I have brought him.

A white-robed angel stood at Heaven’s door,
To catch earth’s floating tones of even song,
Then, kneeling low upon the crystal floor,
Asks with uplifted hands, “How long, how long?

“I hear my child’s sweet voice from earth arise,
I catch the fragrant incense of his prayer;
But missing him in these serener skies,
Heaven’s fairest beauties seem to me less fair.

“Angel of death, I vainly watch thee pass:
When wilt thou summon me my child to meet?
When shall I welcome, on the sea of glass.
The noiseless coming of his little feet?”

Now through wide air her spotless pinions spread,
With silent wing she cleaves the liquid skies,
And stands a quiet presence by a bed
Where her own image softly sleeping lies.

His parted rosebud lips seem fain to speak,
As though the fair-haired boy would tell his dreams,
While busy fancies make his changing cheek
Like Heaven bright with morning’s blushing beams.

The angel watcher guards the sleeping child,
And murmurs music, warbling all the night;
Then, seized with longing love, in cadence wild
She cries, “Oh! let these holden eyes have sight.

“Oh, for one glance of love, one answering gleam,
One look of recognition—one embrace;
Oh, smile on me, not only in thy dream,
Not only in thy sleep,—behold my face.”

The blue eyes open, and the mother hears
Her child’s sweet voice, and sees him face to face
Till morning breaks, and chimes from crystal spheres
Ring out and call her back through boundless space.

“Thy will be done, O Lord, Thy will be done.”
So prays she, kneeling at the gates of gold,
Half fearing lest the High and Holy One,
Should deem her earth-born wayward thought too bold.

When, lo! she sees among the seraph bands
Her angel child in spotless garment drest,
Who calls her “Mother,” stretching out his hands,
And nestling like a bird upon her breast.

E. E.