Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 130.djvu/714

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Sometime, when all life's lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o'er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us, out of life's dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God's plans were right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

And we shall see, how while we frown and sigh,
God's plans go on as best for you and me;
How, when we called, he heeded not our cry,
Because his wisdom to the end could see.
And e'en as prudent parents disallow
Too much of sweet to craving babyhood,
So God, perhaps, is keeping from us now
Life's sweetest things because it seemeth good.

And if, sometimes, commingled with life's wine,
We find the wormwood, and rebel and shrink,
Be sure a wiser hand than yours or mine
Pours out this potion for our lips to drink.
And if some friend we love is lying low,
Where human kisses cannot reach his face,
Oh, do not blame the loving Father so,
But wear your sorrow with obedient grace!

And you shall shortly know that lengthened breath
Is not the sweetest gift God sends his friend,
And that, sometimes, the sable pall of death
Conceals the fairest boon his love can send.
If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God's workings see,
We could interpret all this doubt and strife,
And for each mystery could find a key!

But not to-day. Then be content, poor heart!
God's plans like lilies pure and white unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart;
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loose, may rest,
When we shall clearly know and understand,
I think that we will say, "God knew the best!"

Mrs. May Riley Smith.


Ill canst thou bide in alien lands like these,
Whose home lies overseas
Among manorial halls, parks wide and fair,
Churches antique, or where
Long hedges flower in spring, and one may hark
To carollings from old England's lovely lark!

Ill canst thou bide where memories are so brief,
Thou that hast bathed thy leaf
Deep in the shadowy past, and known strange things
Of crumbled queens and kings;
Thou whose green kindred, in years half forgot,
Robed the gray battlements of proud Camelot!

Through all thy fibres' intricate expanse
Hast thou breathed sweet romance!
Ladies that long are dust thou hast beheld,
In dreamy days of eld;
Watched in broad castle-courts the chafed steed fret,
The glittering knight, the gaudy banneret!

And thou hast seen, on lordly ancient lawns,
The timorous dappled fawns;
Heard pensive pages with their suave lutes play
Some low Provençal lay;
Marked beauteous dames through arrased chambers glide,
With lazy, graceful staghounds at their side!

And thou hast gazed on splendid cavalcades
Of nobles, matrons, maids,
Winding from castle-gates on merry morns,
With golden peals of horns,
In velvet and brocades, in plumes and silk,
With falcons, and with palfreys white as milk!

Through convent casements thou hast peered, and there
Viewed the meek nun at prayer;
Seen through rich panes dyed purple, gold or rose,
Monks read old folios;
On abbey-walls heard wild laughs thrill thy vine
When the fat, tonsured priests quaffed ruby wine!

O ivy, having lived in times like these,
Here art thou ill at ease,
For thou art one with ages past away,
We are of yesterday!
Short retrospect, slight ancestry is ours;
But thy dark leaves clothe history's haughty towers!

Edgar Fawcett
Youth's Companion.