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- Bitter-Sweet - 22/22 -

And powers perverted, and it flies away Singing toward heaven. He turns and looks at us, And finds us weeping with our gratitude-- Full of sweet sorrow,--sorrow sweeter far Than the supremest ecstasy of joy.

And this is death! Think you that raptured soul Now walking humbly in the golden streets, Bearing the precious burden of a love Too great for utterance, or with hushed heart Drinking the music of the ransomed throng, Counts death an evil?--evil, sickness, pain, Calamity, or aught that God prescribed To cure it of its sin, or bring it where The healing hand of Christ might touch it? No! He is a man to-night--a man in Christ. This was his childhood, here; and as we give A smile of wonder to the little woes That drew the tears from out our own young eyes, The kind corrections and severe constraints Imposed by those who loved us--so he sees A father's chastisement in all the ill That filled his life with darkness; so he sees In every evil a kind instrument To chasten, elevate, correct, subdue, And fit him for that heavenly estate-- Saintship in Christ--the Manhood Absolute!


Midnight and silence! In the West, unveiled, The broad, full moon is shining, with the stars. On mount and valley, forest, roof, and rock, On billowy hills smooth-stretching to the sky, On rail and wall, on all things far and near, Cling the bright crystals,--all the earth a floor Of polished silver, pranked with bending forms Uplifting to the light their precious weight Of pearls and diamonds, set in palest gold. The storm is dead; and when it rolled away It took no star from heaven, but left to earth Such legacy of beauty as The Wind-- The light-robed shepherdess from Cuban groves-- Driving soft showers before her, and warm airs, And her wide-scattered flocks of wet-winged birds, Never bestowed upon the waiting Spring. Pale, silent, smiling, cold, and beautiful! Do storms die thus? And is it this to die?

Midnight and silence! In that hallowed room God's full-orbed peace is shining, with the stars. On head and hand, on brow, and lip, and eye, On folded arms, on broad unmoving breast, On the white-sanded floor, on everything Rest the pale radiance, while bending forms Stand all around, loaded with precious weight Of jewels such as holy angels wear. The man is dead; and when he passed away He blotted out no good, but left behind Such wealth of faith, such store of love and trust, As breath of joy, in-floating from the isles Smiled on by ceaseless summer, and indued With foliage and flowers perennial, Never conveyed to the enchanted soul. Do men die thus? And is it this to die?

Midnight and silence! At each waiting tied, Husband and wife, embracing, kneel in prayer; And lips unused to such a benison Breathe blessings upon evil, and give thanks For knowledge of its sacred ministry. An infant nestles on a mother's breast, Whose head is pillowed where it has not lain For months of wasted life--the tale all told, And confidence and love for aye secure.

The widow and the virgin: where are they? The morn shall find them watching with the dead, Like the two angels at the tomb of Christ,-- One at the head, the other at the foot,-- Guarding a sepulcher whose occupant Has risen, and rolled the heavy stone away!


[Transcriber's Note: In the First Movement, one word was missing from our print copy; the symbol [***] denotes the missing word.

This work contains some rare words and variants, such as blent, indites, mekly, reck, ruth (no capital), sprent, and ween.]

Bitter-Sweet - 22/22

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