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THE CRY OF A LOST SOUL.44
IN that black forest, where, when day is done,
A cry, as of the pained heart of the wood,
Startles the traveller, with a sound so drear,
The guide, as if he heard a dead-bell toll,
"No, Señor, not a bird. I know it well,—
"Poor fool! with hope still mocking his despair,
"Saints strike him dumb! Our Holy Mother hath No prayer for him who, sinning unto death, Burns always in the furnace of God's wrath!"
Thus to the baptized pagan's cruel lie,
Dim burns the boat-lamp: shadows deepen round, From giant trees with snake-like creepers wound, And the black water glides without a sound.
But in the traveller's heart a secret sense
Lifts to the starry calm of heaven his eyes;
"Father of all!" he urges his strong plea, "Thou lovest all: thy erring child may be Lost to himself, but never lost to Thee!
"All souls are Thine; the wings of morning bear None from that Presence which is everywhere. Nor hell itself can hide, for Thou art there.
"Through sins of sense, perversities of will, Through doubt and pain, through guilt and shame and ill,
Thy pitying eye is on Thy creature still.
"Wilt thou not make, Eternal Source and Goal!
ACROSS the sea I heard the groans
Of wind and wave. Their blood and bones
I dreamed of freedom slowly gained
With corded muscles battle-strained,
I turn me, awe-struck, from the sight,
Shall tread the darkness under foot.
I know the pent fire heaves its crust,
That sultry skies the bolt will form To smite them clear; that Nature must The balance of her powers adjust,
Though with the earthquake and the storm.
God reigns, and let the earth rejoice!
His praise is in the wrath of man!
Yet, surely as He lives, the day
Of peace He promised shall be ours,
THE RIVER PATH
No bird-song floated down the hill,
No rustle from the birchen stem,
The dusk of twilight round us grew,
For, from us, ere the day was done,
But on the river's farther side
A tender glow, exceeding fair,
With us the damp, the chill, the gloom:
While dark, through willowy vistas seen,
From out the darkness where we trod
Whose light seemed not of moon or sun.
We paused, as if from that bright shore
And stilled our beating hearts to hear
Sudden our pathway turned from night;
Through their green gates the sunshine showed,
Down glade and glen and bank it rolled;
And, borne on piers of mist, allied
"So," prayed we, " when our feet draw near The river dark, with mortal fear,
"And the night cometh chill with dew, O Father!-let thy light break through!
"So let the hills of doubt divide,
"So let the eyes that fail on earth On thy eternal-hills look forth;
"And in thy beckoning angels know The dear ones whom we loved below!"
M. A. C.
O THICKER, deeper, darker growing,
In love surpassing that of brothers,
We walked, O friend, from childhood's day; And, looking back o'er fifty summers, Our footprints track a common way.
One in our faith, and one our longing
To make the world within our reach Somewhat the better for our living,
And gladder for our human speech.
Thou heardst with me the far-off voices,