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A YEAR IN HEAVEN.

427

1

A year of blessedness; wherein

Not one dim cloud hath crossed thy soul;
No sigh of grief, no touch of sin,

No frail mortality's control :
Nor once hath disappointment stung,

Nor care world-weary made thee pine ;
But rapture, such as human tongue

Hath found no language for, is thine.
Made perfect at thy passing, who

Can sum thy added glory now?
As on, and onward, upward, through

The angel ranks that lowly bow,
Ascending still from height to height,

Unfaltering, where rapt spirits trod, Nor pausing 'mid their circles bright,

Thou tendest inward unto God.

A year

of

progress in the lore That's only learned in Heaven ; thy mind Unclogged of clay, and free to soar,

Hath left the realms of doubt behind ; And wondrous things which finite thought

In vain essayed to solve, appear To thy untasked inquiries, fraught

With explanations strangely clear.
Thy reason owns no forced control,

As held it here in needful thrall :
God's mysteries court thy questioning soul,

And thou may'st search and know them all.

A year of love ; thy yearning heart

Was always tender, e'en to tears With sympathies, whose sacred art

Made holy all thy cherished years ;
But love, whose speechless ecstasy

Had overborne the finite, now
Throbs through thy being, pure and free,

And burns upon thy radiant brow:

For thou those hands' dear clasp hast felt,

Where still the nail-prints are displayed ;
And thou before that face hast knelt,

Which wears the scars the thorns have made.

A year without thee; I had thought

My orphaned heart would break and die
Ere time had meek quiescence brought,

Or soothed the tears it could not dry.
And yet I live to faint and quail

Before the human grief I bear;
To miss thee so, then drown the wail

That trembles on my lips in prayer ;
Thou glorying, while I weakly pine;

Thou praising, while I vainly thrill;
And thus between thy heart and mine

The distance ever widening still.

A year of tears to me; to thee,

The end of thy probation's strife,
The archway to eternity,

The portal of immortal life:
To me the pall, the bier, the sod;

To thee the palm of victory given.-
Enough, my heart! thank God! thank God !
That thou hast been a year in Heaven.

ANONYMOUS.

A Year in Heaven.

ON

NE year among the angels, beloved, thou hast been,
One year has heaven's white portal shut back the

sound of sin; And yet no voice, no whisper comes floating down from

thee, To tell us what glad wonder a year of heaven may be.

A YEAR IN HEAVEN.

429

Our hearts before it listen,—the beautiful closed gate :
The silence yearns around us: we listen and we wait.
It is thy heavenly birthday, on earth thy lilies bloom;
In thine immortal garland canst find for these no room ?

Thou lovedst all things lovely when walking with us here: Now from the heights of heaven seems earth no longer

dear ? We cannot paint thee moving in white-robed state afar, Nor dream our flower of comfort a cool and distant star,

Heaven is but life made richer; therein can be no loss :
To meet our love and longing thou hast no gulf to cross:
No adamant between us uprears its rocky screen ;
A veil before us only:-thou in the light serene.

That veil 'twixt earth and heaven a breath might waft aside:
We breathe one air, beloved, we follow one dear Guide:
Passed into open vision, out of our mist and rain,
Thou seest how sorrow blossoms, how peace is won from

pain.

And half we feel thee leaning from thy deep calm of bliss,
To say of earth, “Beloved, how beautiful it is!
The lilies in this splendor,—the green leaves in this dew ;-
O earth is also heaven, with God's light clothed anew !"

So, when the sky seems bluer, and when the blossoms wear Some tender mystic shading we never knew was there, We'll say “We see things earthly by light of sainted eyes : She bends where we are gazing, to-day, from paradise.”

Because we know thee near us and nearer still to Him
Who fills thy cup of being with glory to the brim,
We will not stain with grieving our fair, though fainter light,
But cling to thee in spirit as if thou wert in sight.

And as in waves of beauty the swift years come and go,
Upon celestial currents our deeper life shall flow,
Hearing, from that sweet country where blighting never

came', Love chime the hours immortal, in earth and heaven the

same.

LUCY LARCOM.

" A Little While."

O

FOR the peace which floweth as a river,

Making life's desert places bloom and smile !
O for the faith to grasp heaven's bright “ forever,"

Amid the shadows of earth's "little while !"

A little while for patient vigil-keeping,

To face the stern, to battle with the strong;
A little while to sow the seed with weeping,

Then bind the sheaves and sing the harvest-song.

To pace

A little while to wear the weeds of sadness,

with weary steps through noisy ways; Then to pour forth the fragrant oil of gladness,

And clasp the girdle round the robe of praise.

A little while midst shadow and illusion

To strive by faith love's mysteries to spell:
Then read each dark enigma's bright solution, -

Then hail sight's verdict, “ He doth all things well."

A little while the earthen pitcher taking

To wayside brooks from far-off fountains fed;
Then the cool lip its thirst forever slaking

Beside the fullness of the fountain-head.

A little while to keep the oil from failing,

A little while faith's Pickering lamp to trim,
And then, the Bridegroom's coming footsteps hailing,

To haste to meet him with the bridal-hymn.

WHAT THEN?

431

And he who is himself the Gift and Giver

The future glory and the present smile,
With the bright promise of the glad forever
Will light the shadows of the little while.”

JANE CREWDSON.

What Then?
WHAT then? Why, then another pilgrim song;

And then a hush of rest, divinely granted ;
And then a thirsty stage (ah me, so long !)

And then a brook, just where it most is wanted.

What then? The pitching of the evening tent;

And then, perchance, a pillow rough and thorny; And then some sweet and tender message, sent

To cheer the faint one for to-morrow's journey.

What then? The wailing of the midnight wind,

A feverish sleep, a heart oppressed and aching; And then a little water-cruse to find

Close by my pillow, ready for my waking.

What then? I am not careful to inquire ;

I know there will be tears, and fears, and sorrow; And then, a loving Saviour drawing nigher,

And saying “ I will answer for the morrow."

What then? For all my sins, his pardoning grace ;

For all my wants and woes, his loving-kindness; For darkest shades, the shining of God's face,

And Christ's own hand to lead me in my blindness.

What then? A shadowy valley, lone and dim;

And then, a deep and darkly rolling river; And then a flood of light, a seraph's hymn, And God's own smile forever and forever!

JANE CREWDSON.

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