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Father Ryan's Poems (2)

2006-09-08 16:13

    Reverie

    Only a few more years! Weary years! Only a few more tears! Bitter tears! And then —— and then —— like other men, I cease to wander, cease to weep, Dim shadows o'er my way shall creep; And out of the day and into the night, Into the dark and out of the bright I go, and Death shall veil my face, The feet of the years shall fast efface My very name, and every trace I leave on earth; for the stern years tread -Tread out the names of the gone and dead! And then, ah! then, like other men, I close my eyes and go to sleep, Only a few, one hour, shall weep: Ah! me, the grave is dark and deep!

    Alas! Alas! How soon we pass! And ah! we go So far away; When go we must, From the light of Life, and the heat of strife, To the peace of Death, and the cold, still dust, We go —— we go -we may not stay, We travel the lone, dark, dreary way; Out of the day and into the night, Into the darkness, out of the bright. And then, ah! then, like other men, We close our eyes and go to sleep; We hush our hearts and go to sleep; Only a few, one hour, shall weep: Ah! me, the grave is lone and deep!

    I saw a flower, at morn, so fair; I passed at eve, it was not there. I saw a sunbeam, golden bright, I saw a cloud the sunbeam's shroud, And I saw night Digging the grave of day; And day took off her golden crown, And flung it sorrowfully down. Ah! day, the Sun's fair bride! At twilight moaned and died. And so, alas! like day we pass: At morn we smile, At eve we weep, At morn we wake, In night we sleep. We close our eyes and go to sleep: Ah! me, the grave is still and deep!

    But God is sweet. My mother told me so, When I knelt at her feet Long —— so long —— ago; She clasped my hands in hers. Ah! me, that memory stirs My soul's profoundest deep ——No wonder that I weep. She clasped my hands and smiled, Ah! then I was a child ——I knew not harm ——My mother's arm Was flung around me; and I felt That when I knelt To listen to my mother's prayer, God was with my mother there. Yea! "God is sweet!" She told me so; She never told me wrong; And through my years of woe Her whispers soft, and sad, and low, And sweet as Angel's song, Have floated like a dream.

    And, ah! to-night I seem A very child in my old, old place, Beneath my mother's blessed face, And through each sweet remembered word, This sweetest undertone is heard: "My child! my child! our God is sweet, In Life —— in Death —— kneel at his feet —— Sweet in gladness, sweet in gloom, Sweeter still beside the tomb." Why should I wail? Why ought I weep? The grave —— it is not dark and deep; Why should I sigh? Why ought I moan? The grave —— it is not still and lone; Our God is sweet, our grave is sweet, We lie there sleeping at His feet, Where the wicked shall from troubling cease, And weary hearts shall rest in peace!

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