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E ask for Peace, oh Lord!

Thy children ask Thy Peace;
Not what the world calls rest,
That toil and care should cease,
That through bright sunny hours
Calm Life should fleet away,
And tranquil night should fade

In smiling day;

It is not for such Peace that we would pray.

We ask for Peace, oh Lord!

Yet not to stand secure,

Girt round with iron Pride,

Contented to endure:

Crushing the gentle strings,

That human hearts should know,

Untouched by others' joy

Or others' woe;—

Thou, oh dear Lord, wilt never teach us so.

We ask Thy Peace, oh Lord!

Through storm, and fear, and strife,

To light and guide us on,

Through a long struggling life:

While no success or gain

Shall cheer the desperate fight,

Or nerve, what the world calls,

Our wasted might:

Yet pressing through the darkness to the light.

It is Thine own, oh Lord,

Who toil while others sleep;

Who sow with loving care

What other hands shall reap:

They lean on Thee entranced,
In calm and perfect rest:

Give us that Peace, oh Lord,

Divine and blest,

Thou keepest for those hearts who love Thee best.




F the dread day that calls thee hence,
Through a red mist of fear should loom,

(Closing in deadliest night and gloom

Long hours of aching dumb suspense,)
And leave me to my lonely doom.

I think, beloved, I could see

In thy dear eyes the loving light
Glaze into vacancy and night,

And still

say, God is good to me,

And all that He decrees is right."

That, watching thy slow struggling breath,
And answering each imperfect sign,

I still could pray thy prayer and mine,
And tell thee, dear, though this was death,

That God was love, and love divine.

Could hold thee in my arms, and lay

Upon my heart thy weary head,
And meet thy last smile ere it fled;
Then hear, as in a dream, one say,
"Now all is over,-she is dead."

Could smooth thy garments with fond care, And cross thy hands upon thy breast, And kiss thine eyelids down to rest,

And yet say no word of despair,

But, through my sobbing, " It is best."

Could stifle down the gnawing pain,

And say,

"We still divide our life,

She has the rest, and I the strife,

And mine the loss, and hers the gain:
My ill with bliss for her is rife."

Then turn, and the old duties take-
Alone now-yet with earnest will
Gathering sweet sacred traces still
To help me on, and, for thy sake,

My heart and life and soul to fill.

I think I could check vain weak tears,

And toil, although the world's great space
Held nothing but one vacant place,

And see the dark and weary years
Lit only by a vanished grace.

And sometimes, when the day was o'er,

Call up the tender past again:

Its painful joy, its happy pain,

And live it over yet once more,

And say,

"But few more years remain."

And then, when I had striven my best,
And all around would smiling say,
"See how Time makes all grief decay,"
Would lie down thankfully to rest,

And seek thee in eternal day.


But if the day should ever rise—
It could not and it cannot be—
Yet, if the sun should ever see,
Looking upon us from his skies,

A day that took thy heart from me;

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