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“I loved, — and, blind with passionate | ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS.
love, I fell. Love brought me down to death, and
[U. S. A.] death to Hell. For God is just, and death for sin is well.
ON THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS.
ALL THE RIVERS.
“I do not rage against his high decree, It chanceth once to every soul, Nor for myself do ask that grace shall be; Within a narrow hour of doubt and dole, But for my love on earth who mourns
Upon Life's Bridge of Sighs to stand,
A palace and a prison on each hand. “Great Spirit! Let me see my love
O palace of the rose-heart's hue! again And comfort him one hour, and I were How like a flower the warm light falls
from you! fain To pay a thousand years of fire and pain.” O prison with the hollow eyes !
Beneath your stony stare no flowers arise. Then said the pitying angel, “Nay, repent
O palace of the rose-sweet sin ! That wild vow! Look, the dial-finger's How safe the heart that does not enter in !
bent Down to the last hour of thy punish- O blessed prison-walls ! how true ment!”
The freedom of the soul that chooseth
you! But still she wailed, “I pray thee, let
Like the pulsing of a river,
The tortuous windings of my thought,
whenever But soon adown the dying sunset sailing,
I sit beside the sea. And like a wounded bird her pinions trailing,
All the rivers run into the sea. She fluttered back, with broken-hearted
O you little leaping river, wailing
Laugh on beneath your breath!
With a heart as deep as death, She sobbed, “I found him by the sum- Strong stream, go patient, brave and
hasting never, Reclined, his head upon a maiden's I sit beside the sea.
knee, She curled his hair and kissed him. Woe All the rivers run into the sea. is me!”
Why the striving of a river,
The passion of a soul? She wept, “Now let my punishment Calm the eternal waters roll begin!
Upon the eternal shore. Somewhere, I have been fond and foolish. Let me in
whatever To expiate my sorrow and my sin."
Seeks it finds the sea.
The angel answered, “Nay, sad soul, All the rivers run into the sea. go higher!
O thou bounding, burning river, To be deceived in your true heart's Hurrying heart !—I seem desire
To know (so one knows in a dream) Was bitterer than a thousand years of That in the waiting heart of God forever fire!"
Thou too shalt find the sea.
INTO a city street,
I HEAR it often in the dark, Narrow and noisome, chance had led my I hear it in the light, feet;
Where is the voice that calls to me Poisonous to every sense; and the sun's With such a quiet might? rays
It seems but echo to my thought, Loved not the unclean place.
And yet beyond the stars;
It seems a heart-beat in a hush, It seemed that no pure thing
And yet the planet jars. Its whiteness here would ever dare to bring;
O, may it be that far within Yet even into this dark place and low, My inmost soul there lies God had sent down his snow.
A spirit-sky, that opens with
Those voices of surprise ?
And can it be, by night and day, Here, too, a little child
That firmament serene Stood by the drift, now blackened and is just the heaven where God himself, defiled;
The Father, dwells unseen?
O God within, so close to me
That every thought is plain, Checking my hurried pace,
Be judge, be friend, be Father still,
Thy words are sweet and strong;
With music and with song.
They ring my bells of victory,
They breathe my “Peace, be still!"
They ever seem to say, “My child, And as I lingered near,
Why seek me so all day? His baby accents fell upon my ear : Now journey inward to thyself
, “See, I can make the snow again for you,
And listen by the way. All clean and white and new !”
Ah! surely God knows best.
[U. S. A.] hands To work out his commands.
I KNOW not what shall befall me, Perhaps he holds apart,
God hangs a mist o'er my eyes, By baby fingers, in that mother's heart, And so, each step of my onward path, One fair, clean spot that yet may spread He makes new scenes to rise,
And every joy he sends me comes Till all be white as snow.
As a sweet and glad surprise.
I see not a step before me,
As tired of sin as any child
Was ever tired of play,
The noises of the day;
When just for very weariness
The little one will creep For perhaps the dreaded future
Into the arms that have no joy
Like holding him in sleep;
And looking upward to thy face,
So gentle, sweet, and strong, He will stand beside its brink.
In all its looks for those who love,
So pitiful of wrong,
I pray thee turn me not away,
Thou knowest everything I need, That my lips shall only tremble
And all my need of thee. With the thanks they cannot speak.
And yet the spirit in my heart O restful, blissful ignorance !
Says, Wherefore should I pray 'Tis blessed not to know,
That thou shouldst seek me with thylove, It holds me in those mighty arms
Since thou dost seek alway;
And dost not even wait until
urge my steps to thee;
But in the darkness of my life
Art coining still to me?
because I must; Than go alone in the light;
There is no meaning in my prayer I would rather walk with Him by faith, But thankfulness and trust. Than walk alone by sight.
I would not have thee otherwise My heart shrinks back from trials
Than what thou ever art:
We cannot live apart.
But still thy love will beckon me,
And still thy strength will come, knows."
In many ways to bear me up
And bring me to my home.