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[388]
That all this promise of the heart and mind
Should perish from the earth, and leave no trams
Unfolding like the Cereus of the clime
Which hath its sepulchre, but in the night
Of pagan desolation—was it well?”

Thy will be done,O Father! —it was well.
What are the honors of a perishing world
Grasp'd by a palsied finger? the applause
Of the unthoughtful multitude which greets
The dull ear of decay? the wealth that loads
The bier with costly drapery, and shines
In tinsel on the coffin, and builds up
The cold substantial monument? Can these
Bear up the sinking spirit in that hour
When heart and flesh are failing, and the grave
Is opening under us? Oh, dearer then
The memory of a kind deed done to him
Who was our enemy, one grateful tear
In the meek eye of virtuous suffering,
One smile call'd up by unseen charity
On the wan lips of hunger, or one prayer
Breathed from the bosom of the penitent—
The stain'd with crime and outcast, unto whom
Our mild rebuke and tenderness of love
A merciful God hath bless'd.

“But, lady, say,
Did he not sometimes almost sink beneath
The burden of his toil, and turn aside
To weep above his sacrifice, and cast
A sorrowing lance upon his childhood's home,
Still green in memory? Clung not to his heart
Something of earthly hope uncrucified,
Of earthly thought unchastened? Did he bring
Life's warm affections to the sacrifice—
Its loves, hopes, sorrows—and become as one
Knowing no kindred but a perishing world,
No love but of the sin-endangered soul,
No hope but of the winning back to life
Of the dead nations, and no passing thought
Save df the errand wherewith he was sent
As to a martyrdom?”

Nay, though the heart
Be consecrated to the holiest work
Vouchsafed to mortal effort, there will be
Ties of the earth around it, and, through all
Its perilous devotion, it must keep
Its own humanity. And it is well.
Else why wept He, who with our nature veiled
The spirit of a God, o'er lost Jerusalem,

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