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THERE is no flock, however watched and tended
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors; Amid these earthly damps,
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition.
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
She is not dead,-the child of our affection,— But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection, And Christ himself doth rule.
In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
Day after day we think what she is doing
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken, May reach her where she lives.
Not as a child shall we again behold her;
In our embraces we again enfold her,
But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
And beautiful with all the soul's expansion
And though at times impetuous with emotion
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean, That cannot be at rest,
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
ALL are architects of Fate,
Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest.
For the structure that we raise,
Are the blocks with which we build.
Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between ; Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.
In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Let us do our work as well,
Else our lives are incomplete,
Stumble as they seek to climb.