Littell's Living Age/Volume 151/Issue 1957/After All's Done

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Originally published in Sunday Magazine.

After All's Done

       "His wife asked where was his pain?
Garfield answered, 'Darling, even to live is pain.'"

To, live was pain — to die is peace:
     Falling asleep in tender arms,
     Ended vain hopes, more vain alarms:
Blind struggles for impossible ease.

Yes, life was loss, but death is gain;
     The martyr's 'blood the Church's seed;
     Die, Christian, to Christ's world-large creed
Faithful till death — die, rise, and reign.

Reign, king-like, o'er the souls of men,
     And shame them from the lust of gold,
     From public honor bought and sold,
From venal lies of tongue or pen.

Reign in the hearts of women brave,
     Fit mothers of the men to be;
     Like to the woman loved by thee,
Whom God so loved, he would not save.

But thou art saved — her hero! Thine
     The glorious rest of battle won;
     A setting of the midday sun,
And lo! the stars burst forth and shine.

No dull pale twilight of weak age,
     Morn's glow forgot in misty night;
     Thy record was full writ in light,
And then — thine angel closed the page.

All's done — all said; the tale is told.
     Across the ocean hands clasp hands;
     One voice of weeping from far lands,
Binds the New World unto the Old:

Then — silence; and we go our ways,
     Work our small work for good or ill.
     But thou, through whom the Master's will
Was done, and didst it, to his praise,

Go straightway into eternal light!
     On earth rank'd with the immortal dead, —
     In heaven — that mystery none has read,
We walk by faith and not by sight.

But this we know, or feel, half-known,
     He who from evil brings forth good,
     His message, although writ in blood,
Has left upon thy burial stone.