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THERE is no flock, however watched and tended
But one dead lamb is there.!
But has one vacant chair!
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
Will not be comforted !
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps,
May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition.
This life of mortal breath
Whose portal we call Death.
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,
By guardian angels led,
She lives, whom we call dead.
Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air;
Behold her grown more fair.
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives, Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.
Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For when with raptures wild
She will not be a child;
But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace;
Shall we behold her face.
And though at times impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed, 'The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest,
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay ;
The grief that must have way.
ALL are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time; Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
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,
Time is with materials filled ; Our to-days and yesterdays
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 Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen; Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.
Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of T'ime, , Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.