F. E. Walrond
A tremor shook the inmost heart of night,
And starting up one cried: "The day has come!"
But others cursed him, bidding him be dumb--
"The Sun is dead: there will be no more light."
Again the darkness trembled, and again;
And now there crept into the eastern sky
A hesitant greyness, and a voiceless sigh
Passed wakefully across the sleeping plain.
Then slowly, very slowly, one by one,
Leaves stirred and branches quivered, till at last
Expectant, while the pulse of dawn beat fast,
All nature waited, breathless, for the Sun.
The Sun-god drew his bow: ray after ray
His arrows swept the heavens, and lo! 'twas day!
Peace, rest, content! Ah, God! to tired hearts,
To feet that falter at the long road's end,
To weary players that have played their parts
In the great drama, these in fulness send.
But unto us, whose veins are quick with fire,
Whose wants are wide as earth and high as heaven,
Who spend our souls in some supreme desire,
Be no content, but large impatience given.
Oh! while the arm has strength to weight a blow
Let there be fighting, Lord, and deeds to dare,
Such deeds as ask the bravest and the best.
Mass thick the foes against us, make us know
The sting of pain, the threatening of despair,
And so compell us to our loftiest.
Let those sore wounded with the spears of life
Crave for oblivion; those who gasp for breath
In the hot whirl of this perplexing strife
Pray God to cease from striving after death!
To each his heaven: but what have we to do
With rest from labour, we whose dearest thought
Is still to match our model with the true,
Whose joy in life is in achievement wrought?
God, if Thy pity lean towards man's hope,
And Thou wouldst see Thy creatures each content,
Give us no resting, but a larger scope
To strive and battle with impediment.
Give strength to fill our loftiest desire,
That we may triumph where we now aspire.
C. W. W.
Thou child of faith--whose little store of days
Was beautiful with prayer, whom Reverence
Made humble, and white-handed Innocence
Led purely thro' the dust of earthly ways--
God spared thy soul the terror and amaze
Of that fierce wrestling with Omnipotence,
Which Jacob knew at Peniel, the suspense
Of aching doubt, and error's long delays.
Thy spirit questioned not, but saw fulfilled
The uttermost of love when Calvary
Beheld the consummation of all years.
Ah, childlike trust! so fair to us who build
The altar of our faith by dark degree,
And join the stones together with our tears.