By Charles Sangster



     Silence knelt praying in the room,
          And timid forms on tiptoe walked,
          And timorous voices lowly talked,
     Like whisperings passing through the gloom.
               The world lulled to sleep;


               The stars looked down upon the deep,
               Gravely and chill; and the flesh did creep;
The cold winds bleached the tint from off the rose.

     Life’s taper burned into the dust,
          Pale-flickering for a solemn while,


          Life’s Angel, pausing with a smile,
     Re-lit it with Eternal Trust!
               Warm hearts were filled with pain;
               Like flowers drenched by a wintry rain,
               Though they hear not the bleak winds complain,


The wretched weight strikes deeper than the blast.

     Grief robbed each feature of its glow,
          The weary watchers watched no more,
          For death stood sentinel at the door,
     And filled each entering heart with woe.


               The corse is white and cold,
               Like winter on the frozen wold;
               The grievers gaze with a grief untold,
But with a certain hope that ends in heaven.

     The dismal coffin and shroud!


          The mourners with their half-sealed lips! [Page 220]
          A little while, and death’s eclipse
     Will vanish from that silent crowd.
               Remembrance wakes and weeps
               In a few hearts; life’s action sweeps


               Over the many, whose unstirred deeps
Harbor that human thing—Indifference.

     Along the straight and dusty road,
          And through the shadowy grove of pines,
          The long procession moves and twines;


     And down into her dim abode
               The Mother and the Wife
               Is lowered, gently as her life
               Was gentle, ever through the strife
Of the harsh world, a patient-minded soul.


     How like a curse it seems, to see
          The summer flowers bloom and die;
          How like a tenfold curse, to sigh
     When death removes triumphantly
               A human form from earth!


               In kindness is the arm stretched forth,
               What seemeth Death is a Victor-Birth,
The unsealing of God’s hidden mysteries. [Page 221]