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Then Death will come, and, unrelenting,
Seek farther, farther yet, oh Dove !
I heard a promise gently fall,
It is not marred by outward strife,
Through, and beyond them, lies our Rest :
THE TYRANT AND THE CAPTIVE.
TEXT was midnight when I listened,
And I heard two Voices speak;
One was harsh, and stern, and cruel,
And I heard no steps depart,
Fate it might be and a Heart.
Thus the stern Voice spake in triumph :
“I have shut your life away From the radiant world of nature,
And the perfumed light of day. You, who loved to steep your spirit
In the charm of Earth's delight, See no glory of the daytime,
And no sweetness of the night.”
But the soft Voice answered calmly:
“ Nay, for when the March winds bring Just a whisper to my window,
I can dream the rest of Spring; And to-day I saw a Swallow
Flitting past my prison bars, And my cell has just one corner
Whence at night I see the stars."
But its bitter taunt repeating,
Cried the harsh Voice:—“ Where are theyAll the friends of former hours,
Who forget your name to-day? All the links of love are shattered,
Which you thought so strong before; And your very heart is lonely,
And alone since loved no more.”
But the low Voice spoke still lower :
“ Nay, I know the golden chain Of my Love is purer, stronger,
For the cruel fire of pain : They remember me no longer,
But I, grieving here alone,
Bind their souls to me for ever
By the love within my own.”
But the Voice cried :-“ Once remember
You devoted soul and mind
And the service of your kind.
You, who lie in helpless pain, With an impotent compassion
Fretting out your life in vain.”
“ Nay;" and then the gentle answer
Rose more loud, and full, and clear : “ For the sake of all my brethren
I thank God that I am here!
Now I waste no thought or breath-
Has the strength of Love and Death.”
THE CARVER'S LESSON.
RUST me, no mere skill of subtle tracery,
No mere practice of a dexterous hand,
Will suffice, without a hidden spirit, That we may, or may not, understand.
And those quaint old fragments that are left us
Have their power in this,—the Carver brought Earnest care, and reverent patience, only
Worthily to clothe some noble thought.
Shut then in the petals of the flowers,
Round the stems of all the lilies twine, Hide beneath each bird's or angel's pinion,
Some wise meaning or some thought divine.
Place in stony hands that pray for ever
Tender words of peace, and strive to wind Round the leafy scrolls and fretted niches
Some true, loving message to your kind.