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Bind their souls to me for ever
But the Voice cried :—" Once remember
You devoted soul and mind To the welfare of your brethren,
And the service of your kind. Now, what sorrow can you comfort?
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— For the prayer of those who suffer
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
Earnest care, and reverent patience, only
Shut then in the petals of the flowers,
Hide beneath each bird's or angel's pinion,
Place in stony hands that pray for ever
Round the leafy scrolls and fretted niches
Some will praise, some blame, and, soon forgetting,
Only now and then a passing stranger
But I think, when years have floated onward,
And the hand forgotten that has carved it,
There may come some weary soul, o'erladen
Or, it may be, fretted with life's turmoil,
Then, I think those stony hands will open,
And the gentle lilies overflow,
That you hid there many years ago.
And the tendrils will unroll, and teach him
And the birds' and angels' wings shake downward
While he marvels at his fancy, reading
Little guessing that the loving Carver
UST when the red June Roses blow
Just when the red June Roses blow
Swiftly do golden hours creep,—
To hold is not to keep.