Mysterious death! who in a single
Life's gold can so refine,
And by thy art divine
Change mortal weakness to immortal power!
Bending beneath the weight of eighty
Spent with the noble strife
Of a victorious life,
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.
But ere the sense of loss our hearts
A miracle was wrought;
And swift as happy thought
She lived again,–brave, beautiful, and young.
Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the
veils they wore
And showed the tender eyes
Of angels in disguise,
Whose discipline so patiently she bore.
The past years brought their harvest
rich and fair;
While memory and love,
Together, fondly wove
A golden garland for the silver hair.
How could we mourn like those who are
When every pang of grief
Found balm for its relief
In counting up the treasures she had left?–
Faith that withstood the shocks of
toil and time;
Hope that defied despair;
Patience that conquered care;
And loyalty, whose courage was sublime;
The great deep heart that was a home
Just, eloquent, and strong
In protest against wrong;
Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall;
The spartan spirit that made life so
Mating poor daily needs
With high, heroic deeds,
That wrested happiness from Fate's hard hand.
We thought to weep, but sing for joy
Full of the grateful peace
That follows her release;
For nothing but the weary dust lies dead.
Oh, noble woman! never more a queen
Than in the laying down
Of sceptre and of crown
To win a greater kingdom, yet unseen;
Teaching us how to seek the highest
To earn the true success,–
To live, to love, to bless,–
And make death proud to take a royal soul.