Littell's Living Age/Volume 155/Issue 1998/Two Years After
Two Years After
The winter morning as I write —
In the grim city's gloomy light,
Midst fogs that choke street, river, church,
And the fast-falling flakes besmirch —
How pure o'er that far country-side
Must gleam the snow-waste drifted wide;
In my mind's eye I see it rolled
O'er stream-gashed glen and brambly wold;
O'er wheat-sown slope and climbing lane,
And ridge that bounds the battle plain;
And orchard, lawn, and garden sward —
That same white raiment of the Lord!
The church stands on the woodland hill,
The pine-trees fence the churchyard still;
Eastward it looks, that home of hers,
The robin whistles in her firs.
All seems the same; but where is she
Whose name is breathed from brake and tree?
Where lives and soars that noblest one
It raised our life to look upon?
Shall spring-tide wake the world again,
And summer light the eyes of men?
Shall throstles thrill her oaken glade,
The primrose star her hazel shade?
This icy mist, these clouds of gray,
Will they not all be wept away?
And western airs blow kindly through
Large lucid skies of tender blue?
And shall no vernal dawn await
The hopes by death left desolate?
No shining angel brood above
The sepulchre of human love?
That brain of strength, that heart of fire,
That liquid voice, a living lyre —
Do not these vibrate, throb, and burn
Where the lost lights of time return?
The aspiration, passion, power,
That crowd with fate a mortal hour,
Are these crude seeds no bloom may bless,
Beginnings bright of emptiness?
Love's shattered dream —shall it not rise
Re-builded for immortal eyes?
Life's broken song end where round Him
Still quire the "young-eyed cherubim"?