The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/Evening Thoughts
The calm earth resteth in her quiet sleep!
There are no sounds of human life abroad,
And the soft voice of that one bird, whose plaint
Melteth upon the ear so soothingly,
Seems but the low breeze moulded into sound.
The shadows of the trees distinctly lie
Upon the earth unstirring, and no breath
Comes whispering among the tender leaves,
To wake them into playfulness.
Bendeth in loveliness above the earth,
With a few clouds drawn o'er it, beautiful
In the soft light, and exquisitely pure,
As if they knew no other home than heaven.
Oh, thus it is, God of the universe!
That thou wouldst sanctify with thy rich grace,
Our erring human hearts, that we might be,
When from the earth our day of life hath pass'd,
Dwellers in that bright world where all are pure—
A world where sorrow cometh not, nor sin,
Nor the down-stooping ‘neath the oppressor's hand.
Alas! that earthly things should be so fair,
And day by day harmoniously move on
In their allotted course, at thy command,
Dutiful and unwavering from their track,
And man, man only, who alone may know
How beautiful thy ordinances are,
Mock at thy holy will, and mar his soul
With the dark stains of sin. Alas! that man,
With thy pure law unveil'd before his eyes,
Should bind the fetter on his brother's form,
And smite him with the scourge, and bid him pour
His strength out on the earth, for no reward;
And worse than this, wrench from his bleeding heart
The dearest objects of his earthly love;
And all that the oppressor's hoards may flow
With Mammon's worthless treasures; meagre dust,
Beside the priceless treasure of a soul!
Shall it be ever thus? Most Merciful!
Will man's hard heart be never touch'd with all
The o'erflowings of thy love, and yield itself
To gentle sympathies, till he shall learn
The noble joy of pouring happiness
Upon the heart of sorrow, and how sweet
The pleasure is of shedding bliss abroad.