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ITH what clear guile of gracious love enticed, I follow forward, as from room to room, Through doors that open into light from gloom, To find and lose, and find again the Christ!
He stands and knocks, and bids me ope the door;
Why should he seek a shelter sad with sin?
He knows what ways I take to shut my heart,
My foolish fastenings, or by force break through, Nor wait till I fulfill my needless part.
But nay, he will not choose to enter so,—
He will not be my guest without consent,
He shall not go; I do arise and ope,
"Come in, dear Lord, come in and sup with me, Oh, blessed guest, and let me sup with thee,”Where is the door? for in this dark I grope,
And cannot find it soon enough; my hand,
Shut hard, holds fast the one sure key I need,
The door between is some command undone;
And lets him in, who stands so near, so far;
Which door, dear Lord? knock, speak, that I may know;
Full lief and soon this door would open too,
Not spreading light, but lighting to the light-
Now he is here I seem no longer here!
This place of light is not my chamber dim,
It is not he with me, but I with him,
And host, not guest, he breaks the bread of cheer.
I was borne onward at his greeting,—he
Earthward had come, but heavenward I had gone;
Scarce welcoming him to hear him welcome me!
I lie upon the bosom of my Lord,
And feel his heart, and time my heart thereby ;
A little while I lie upon his heart,
Feasting on love, and loving there to feast,
And then, once more, the shadows are increased Around me, and I feel my Lord depart.
Again alone, but in a farther place
I sit with darkness, waiting for a sign; Again I hear the same sweet plea divine, And suit, outside, of hospitable grace.
This is his guile,-he makes me act the host
So, on and on, through many an opening door
From brightening court to court of Christ, my King,
At last I trust these changing scenes will cease ;
No door beyond, that further glory hides.
My host at home, all change is changed to peace.
O, lovely Rose !
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
In deserts where no men abide,
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;
Then die, that she
How small a part of time they share
Yet though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise
That goodness time's rude hand defies,
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
[This latter stanza was written by Kirke White on the margin of a borrowed volume of Waller's poems.]
Under the Violets.
HER hands are cold, her face is white;
No more her pulses come and go;
Fold the white vesture, snow on snow,
But not beneath a graven stone,
To plead for tears with alien eyes;
Shall say that here a maiden lies,
UNDER THE VIOLETS.
And gray old trees of hugest limb
When o'er their boughs the squirrels run,
The acorns and the chestnuts fall,
For her the morning choir shall sing
That thrills beneath the April sky,
When, turning round their dial track,
Eastward the lengthening shadows pass, Her little mourners clad in black,
The crickets, sliding through the grass,
At last the rootlets of the trees
Shall find the prison where she lies,
In leaves and blossoms to the skies;
If any, born of kindlier blood,
Should ask: What maiden sleeps below? Say only this: A tender bud,
That tried to blossom in the snow,
Lies withered where the violets blow.
OLIVER W. HOLMES.