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STRONG Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embracc, Believing where we cannot prove!
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death ; and lo! thy foot Is on the skull which thou hast made.
Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why;
He thinks he was not made to die; And thou hast made him : thou art just.
Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, thou :
Our wills are ours, we know not how ; Our wills are ours, to make them thine.
Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be;
They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, Oh Lord, art more than they.
We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see ;
And yet we trust it comes from thee, A beam in darkness : let it grow.
Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well, May make one music, as before,
But vaster. We are fools and slight;
We mock thee when we do not fear :
But help thy foolish ones to bear; Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.
Forgive what seemed my sin in me;
What seemed my worth since I began ;
For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, Oh Lord, to thee.
Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee, and there I find him worthier to be loved.
Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth, And in thy wisdom make me wise.
1849. IN MEMORIAM
A. H. H.
I HELD it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones Of their dead selves to higher things.
But who shall so forecast the years,
And find in loss a gain to match ?
Or reach a hand through time to catch The far-off interest of tears ?
Let Love clasp Grief, lest both be drowned,
Let darkness keep her raven gloss;
Ah! sweeter to be drunk with loss, To dance with death, to beat the ground,
Than that the victor Hours should scorn
The long result of love, and boast :
“Behold the man that loved and lost, But all he was is overworn.”
That name the underlying dead,
Thy fibres net the dreamless head; Thy roots are wrapped about the bones,
The seasons bring the flower again,
And bring the firstling to the flock;
And in the dusk of thee, the clock Beats out the little lives of men.
O, not for thee the glow, the bloom,
Who changest not in any gale!
Nor branding summer suns avail To touch thy thousand years of gloom.
And gazing on thee, sullen tree,
Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,
I seem to fáil from out my blood, And grow incorporate into thee.
O Priestess in the vaults of Death!
O sweet and bitter in a breath, What whispers from thy lying lip? “ The stars," she whispers, “ blindly run ;
A web is woven across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry, And murmurs from the dying sun :
“And all the phantom, Nature, stands,
With all the music in her tone,
A hollow echo of my own,-
And shall I take a thing so blind,
Embrace her as my natural good;
Or crush her, like a vice of blood, Upon the threshold of the mind ?