Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/336

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Father’s approving smile rests with a perpetual warmth and serenity; whose inhabitants dwell in love, and worship, and content; where there is neither death nor oppression, suffering nor sin; no spoiler, and none ‘to make afraid;’ none who slay; none who starve; none who flee from their brothers, and call on God in secret places.

“There also the laws of power and harmony subdue and rule the elements, so that there are no harsh frosts, nor fierce heat, neither earthquake nor whelming flood; no storms, to vex the heavens, nor to desolate the earth; whose bloom is glad in the morning sun, and beautiful in the starlight. There, over hill and plain, angels have written holy music in flowers; there, summer streams chime down the mountain side, and winds play among the trees with the sound of anthems.

“Over those worlds divine beings oft walk, as once they walked in the Eden of thy earth, ere man sinned, and, covering his face, went out from the presence of God. Wilt thou go thither? Or wouldst thou ascend the steps of morning light, to the Divine courts, thence to go forth on some errand of good, or enter on some office of love, thy portion of that labour which is worship?”

Then it seemed that I made no answer, save to point downward to those beloved ones, who still sat in darkness, and would not be comforted. Then the angel smiled, and said,—“It is well; remain thou with these through their day of time; be near them, and console them always; go before them, leading their way down the dark valley; welcome them through the immortal gates, for to the holy ministration thou hast chosen wert thou appointed.”

When the cold light of dawn broke the sleep which brought this heavenly vision, it was as the coming of night, and not of morning.


I am reminded of an incident, or rather the incident of yesterday—an accidental meeting with the poet Longfellow.