The Mountain Spring and Other Poems
NANNIE R. GLASS
SHERMAN, FRENCH & COMPANY
TO THE MEMORY OF HER PARENTS, WHO KEPT THEIR ALTAR FIRES BURNING, THE AUTHOR AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATES THIS LITTLE BOOK
THE MOUNTAIN SPRING
THE LIVING WATER
COME UNTO ME
"ABIDE WITH US"
RING THE BELLS
THE DESERT SPRING
THE MIGRATORY SWANS
THAT JEWISH LAD
THE MOUNTAIN SPRING AND OTHER POEMS
THE MOUNTAIN SPRING
And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.—Revelation 22:17.
I wandered down a mountain road, Past flower and rock and lichen gray, Alone with nature and her God Upon a flitting summer day.
The forest skirted to the edge Of Capon river, Hampshire's gem, Which, bathing many a primrose ledge, Oft sparkled like a diadem.
At length a silvery spring I spied, Gurgling through moss and fern along, Waiting to bless with cooling tide All who were gladdened by its song.
Oh, who would pass with thirsting lip And burning brow, this limpid wave? Who would not pause with joy and sip? Its crystal depths who would not crave?
This query woke a voice within— Why slight the spring of God's great love, That fount that cleanseth from all sin, Our purchase paid by Christ above?
Whoever will may drink! Oh, why, Worn toilers in this earthly strife, Reject a mansion in the sky, Reject heaven's bliss and endless life?
Go, wander, little book, Nor let thy wand'ring cease; May all who on these pages look From sin find sweet release,
Through Christ, God's holy son, Who left his throne in heaven And e'en death's anguish did not shun That we might be forgiven.
How should our thoughts and deeds Exalt this mighty friend, Who died, yet lives and intercedes And loves us to the end!
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.—Ephesians 2:8.
Christ might have called the angels down To bear him safe above, To shield his brow from sorrow's crown, From death's cold blight, and bitter frown, Had it not been for love.
Our glorious King, our Prince of Peace, Has left his throne above To give our souls from sin release, To make our pain and anguish cease, And all because of love.
By faith in him, we all may see In realms of light above, Through streams of blood on Calvary, A joyful immortality;— The purchase price was love.
Consider the lilies.—Luke 2:27.
Emblems of Christ our Lord, Roses and lilies fair, These flowers in His word, His glory seem to share.
The lilies of the field, Sweet teachers of the soul, Which will their lessons yield Long as the seasons roll,
They neither toil nor spin, Exist without a care, And yet no earthly king can win A garb so chaste and rare.
Frozen, they burst to life, To nature's minstrelsy— A resurrection type Of immortality.
And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.—John 18:25.
Peter, it was not outward cold But inward chill thy bosom froze, Made thee deny with falsehood bold Thy Lord and Master to his foes. When we find cheer at Satan's fires The world is there to work us harm, To deaden all our pure desires With its deceitful lure and charm.
Peter, the voice of chanticleer Fulfilled what Christ had prophesied; And oh, that pitying look sincere From him whom thou hadst just denied! Thy burst of penitential grief! Heaven those tears did surely send. Tears give the burdened heart relief; Dry anguish may its tendrils rend.
Sin soon will crucify our Lord, Thy sin, and all the world's beside. He gave himself, the Living Word, Our shelter from God's wrath to hide. Had all the seraphs pens to write Such love upon the boundless sky, Angelic powers could not indite Its greatness while the ages fly.
The hour is hastening. God has willed That Christ should through his own decree Abolish death and have fulfilled Our blood-bought immortality. And when the awful tomb he rent, When freed from every earthly thrall, "Tell Peter" was the message sent; "Tell Peter"—'tis love's tender call.
Peter was martyr to his faith; His rock, God's son whom he denied; This faith the key that unlocks death To realms where joy and peace abide. "Tell Peter!" Honey drops of love, Awaking all the choirs of heaven! "Tell Peter"—angels from above Shout, "Hear, O earth, and be forgiven!"
Regal the earth seems with diamonds today, Gemming all nature in blazing array; A picture more fairy-like never could be Than this wonderful icicle filigree.
A crystallized world! What a marvelous sight, Gorgeous and grand in the March sunlight! The frost-king magician has changed the spring showers To turquois and topaz and sapphire bowers.
And what is the lesson we learn from the sleet, As toiling life's road with wearying feet, Upward we strive, but failing so oft In the struggles that bear us aright and aloft?
'Tis this—that the hard breath of winter's chill blast Alone can this mantle of loveliness cast; And thus our sharp winds of trial may prove Angels to weave us bright garments of love.
Ye realms of beauty from afar, What speak ye to the saddened soul? What is the message of each star As ever ceaselessly ye roll? Thus do ye answer: "We declare God's glory; and to you 'tis given To cast on him your every care, For he hath wound the clock of heaven."
Ye hoary hills which have looked down On all the centuries of time, Have felt their touch without a frown, And with indifference sublime, What would ye speak, if understood, Of life with all its woes and ills? 'Tis this: to all they work for good Who love the maker of the hills.
The sun had set. He was alone; Mid twilight shadows he would rest. He laid his head upon a stone To woo sweet slumber for his guest.
Perhaps within those midnight hours His rugged bed was cold and chill, But wrapped in Dreamland's mystic powers, He knew no danger, felt no ill.
A vision in his dreams appeared! Angels were stepping to and fro Upon a ladder which, upreared, Aided their ministry below.
And then God spake in words which said What future ages would unfold, The soil on which he made his bed Was his, by prophecy foretold.
He further heard that holy voice Predict that through his tribe would be Blessings in which all should rejoice, Blessings which all the world should see.
Through Jacob would the gift be given Of Jesus to this sinful earth; God signified within this vision Glad news of our Redeemer's birth;
The star of Bethlehem would shine, That star of joy and peace and love, Our bleeding sacrifice divine To cleanse our hearts, our guilt remove.
If faith and praise in us abound Toward Israel's God, angels are near; His word declares they camp around All those who look to him in fear.
When Jacob woke, the ground he trod Seemed holy; and he named his stone "Bethel," which means "the house of God." With heaven so near, was he alone?
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.—Acts 4:12.
Swiftly we float upon time's tide Adown the stream of years. Sometimes past hills of joy we glide, Sometimes through vales of tears.
Age follows youth, which, ere we know, Has vanished like a dream, And takes its glamour from the glow Of mem'ry's silvery gleam.
There is no halt; and more and more There seems an open sea Reaching us with its ceaseless roar— It is eternity.
There is one Pilot that we need, One who can safely steer, One who at heaven's court can plead, And all our journey cheer.
'Tis Jesus Christ; and all who see In him the truth, the way, Are in possession of the key To heaven's eternal day.
He heapeth up riches and knoweth not who shall gather them.—Psalm 39:6.
O soul, it is not thine, But lent to thee in trust That thou may'st make God's glory shine, Secured from moth and rust.
Thou can'st not take one mite Except as thou dost give And waft it in the golden light Where heaven's glories live.
Go look for those in need— The hungry and the cold. Kind words and actions are the seed Which yield their fruits of gold.
Give to the heathen world Knowledge of Christ our Lord; Pray that his banner be unfurled; Send forth, his priceless word.
He lived for us and died, And intercedes above. His blood, a sacrificial tide, Redeems us by his love.
"Barbarian, bond and free, The wise and the unwise"— 'Tis ours to give and theirs to see Salvation's blood-bought prize.
We know not 'neath the sky Who'll gather of our store, But if we lay it up on high, 'Tis ours forevermore.
Captives by Babel's limpid streams, We hung our harps on willows there; Wept over Zion; and our dreams, Waking or sleeping, she did share.
Our victors, with their battle arms, Derided, jeered, and scorned our tears; Required mirth, diversion's charms, To thus allay their guilty fears.
"Sing us a song" is their demand, "Yea, sing us one of Zion's songs!" How can our voices thus expand To what to us and God belongs?
How can we on this heathen shore, Surrounded by idolatry, Sing songs that unto us are more Than all their glittering pageantry?
Jerusalem, should we forget, We pray our hearts and tongues be still! Jerusalem! Oh, may we yet Worship upon thy holy hill.
Babylon, thou art to be destroyed! Thy doom's foretold in prophecy; And happy be the means employed To hurl thee to thy destiny.
THE LIVING WATER
I that speak unto thee am he.—John 4:26.
She left her home that morn In fair Samaria's land, All heedless of her state forlorn, Sin-bound, both heart and hand. With prejudicial pride She scorned the meek request Of One who sat the well beside, With heat and thirst opprest. "Thou art a Jew," she said, "And asketh drink of me? Samaria's daughter was not bred To deal with such as thee." She would not yield a sip E'en if its maker sued, While he from love, with thirsting lip, Sought and her heart renewed. He made her ask for life, Eternal life through him, And "living water" was the type To her perception dim. O yes! She fain would taste And never thirst again, And never cross the burning waste In weariness and pain! Her life he questioned now; Revealed her history.
She must have blushed. How could he know? Here was a mystery! Abashed she now replied, "Thou art a prophet, sir!" And straightway sought with clannish pride Instruction's voice to hear; Instruction that will bless The world each passing day, For every spot man's feet may press, There may he praise and pray. The woman lent her ear, Then urged Messiah's plea. Amazing words she now doth hear, "I that speak unto thee am he." What joy! The angels too Must share it from above. She left her water-pot, and flew On feet made swift by love. Oh, will these tidings last? This news, it must be spread! "He knows my present, knows my past; This is the Christ," she said. That woman lost in sin Drank of the living spring, Then swiftly sped dead souls to win, And to that fountain bring.
Forbid that we should shrink To publish grace so free, For all who will that tide may drink And live eternally.
They begged that he would stay, Believed the truths unfurled, And joyfully received that day The Saviour of the world.
Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.—Hebrews 7:25.
When winding up the path of life, Sometimes mid thorns, sometimes mid flowers, Oft weary of its toil and strife, Oft weary of its wintry hours, There is one thought than all more sweet From care my longing heart to free; 'Tis this—oh, wondrous to repeat— That Jesus intercedes for me.
And always when the path is steep, I cling unto this wayside rope: Nothing can give so great relief, Nothing can give a brighter hope. 'Tis like a stately spreading palm, Which forms my spirit's canopy, 'Neath which I breathe the soothing balm That Jesus intercedes for me.
And when I reach the sea of death, To sail its silent waters o'er, This thought shall calm my latest breath And waft me to the golden shore. Not only that my Savior died, The atoning lamb on Calvary, But—was there ever love so wide?— Still lives and intercedes for me.
Eve must have wept to leave her flowers, And plucked some roots to tell Of Eden's happy, sinless bowers, Where she in bliss did dwell.
Roses and lilies, pansies gay, Violets with azure eyes, Her favorites must have been, for they Seem born in paradise.
And when they drooped, did she not sigh And kiss their petals fair, Thinking, "Alas, ye too must die And in our sorrow share"?
And then perhaps unto her soul This answer sweet was given, "Like you we fade and perish here; For you we'll bloom in heaven."
Roses and lilies are the type Of him who from above, The lamb of God, gave up his life, A sacrifice of love.
He was her hope in those sad hours Of blight and sure decay; The sin that drove her from her flowers His blood could wash away.
COME UNTO ME
"Come unto me!" Ah, gentlest word E'er breathed in human ear! "I am thy Savior and thy Lord; Dear child, thou need'st not fear.
"Come unto me in sorrow's hour When life seems dark and drear; I'll shield thee from the tempter's power; Dear child, thou need'st not fear.
"Come unto me when hopes have flown Like leaves wind-swept and sere, When every joy thou may'st bemoan; Dear child, thou need'st not fear.
"Come unto me. I'll give thee rest, Will wipe away each tear; Come lean thy head upon my breast; Dear child, thou need'st not fear."
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice.—Psalm 5:11.
November is so drear and chill Whilst making leafless branch and tree, Whilst sweeping over vale and hill With all her doleful minstrelsy. November wails the summer's death In such a melancholy voice, She has a withering, blighting breath; She does not bid the heart rejoice.
Yet why repine, thou stricken one? Grief is the common fate of all. This the refrain beneath the sun: Mortals must die, and leaves must fall. They'll live again, the leaves and flowers, When spring returns to bless the earth; They'll waken 'neath her sunny hours Through nature's touch to beauteous birth.
Hope in decay and do not moan That God has taken one we love: Why should our hearts be turned to stone When he is safe in heaven above? Redeemed through Christ, who was his trust, With him in realms of joy on high; For though down here "'tis dust to dust," The Christian lives beyond the sky.
Then in the autumn's woe rejoice,— Rejoice in calm, rejoice in storm; In either hear God's tender voice, For both his holy will perform.
Away from the city, away from the crowd, Two comrades in sorrow traversed hill and dale; The gloom of their hearts did their faces enshroud, And clouds of distress only seemed to prevail.
Alone, as they thought; but a stranger unknown Inquired thus kindly the cause of their woe: "Of what are ye talking? Why are ye cast down, So burdened with care, as thus onward ye go?"
Cleopas thus answered, "A stranger art thou In Jerusalem, not knowing the things happening there?" "What things?" asked the stranger, desiring now Their lips should disclose what had caused their despair.
"Of Jesus of Nazareth, one mighty in deed, A wonderful prophet; him have they slain. To Israel's redemption we hoped he would lead, But why should we hope if hope is in vain?
"Some women who went to the sepulcher say That angels assured them he's living this hour, But they did not see him, and try as we may, It seems a false rumor of glory and power."
The stranger rebuked them ere he would teach What the prophets portray of Christ's sufferings here. Their souls were enlivened, but soon they would reach The village they sought, which too quickly drew near.
The stranger seemed passing, but now they entreat, "Abide with us here; the day is far spent"; They could not forego yet such fellowship sweet, And he entered in with them whither they went.
When supper was ready, they sat up to partake— They and the stranger, in whom they delight. He blessed, as his custom, the bread ere he brake; They knew it was Jesus! And he vanished from sight.
"Did not our hearts burn within us," now they exclaimed, "As he taught of himself what the prophets record? We've seen him, we've heard him, and he is the same: He is Israel's Messiah, our Savior and Lord!"
We are travelers here on the highway of time, But he will go with us if we seek him aright. His strength will support us as upward we climb; Through his blood we inherit immortality's light.
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away.—Song of Solomon 4:6.
Gleaming softly, silvery-faint, Heralded by chanticleer, Merging from night's shadowy taint, New day of the passing year!
Born to bless or born to blight, Born for you and born for me, Leaving, ere it take its flight, Impress on eternity!
'Tis a gift from God's own hand. On its pure unsullied page Let us write at his command What will bless our pilgrimage.
True repentance giveth joy To the angels in the sky. What could be more blest employ Than to cheer the choirs on high?
Deeds of patience, deeds of love, Banishing all hate and guile— These will steer toward heaven above, These will make the angels smile.
May this child of time unite Earth and heaven in blest accord, Heathen nations see the light From the cross of Christ our Lord.
Coming is the glad daybreak, The prophetic jubilee; Sin will then all hearts forsake, Then will all the shadows flee.
Upon time's surging, billowy sea A ship now slowly disappears, With freight no human eye can see, But weighing just one hundred years.
Their sighs, their tears, their weary moans, Their joy and pleasure, pomp and pride, Their angry and their gentle tones, Beneath its waves forever hide.
Yes, sunk within oblivion's waves, They'll partly live in memory; To youth, who will their secrets crave, Mostly exist in history.
Ah, what a truth steps in this strain— They are not lost within time's sea; Their words and actions live again, And blight or light eternity!
A new ship comes within our view, Laden with dreams both sad and blest; To youth they're tinged with roseate hue; To weary ones bring longed-for rest.
And still the stream of life flows on, Laughing beneath the century new. God's promise gilds the horizon; Mercy shall reign; his word is true.
All my ways are before thee.—Psalm 119:168.
Awake, O soul, awake! Enter thy cell of thought, And there in calmness meditate On what God's word has taught.
There's nought within thy scope, No influence thou hast sown, No gloomy doubt, no joyful hope, But unto him are known.
Awake! but grovel not In ashes of despair, Christ's precious blood can cleanse each spot; Cast on him every care.
Before him are thy ways, But in his mercy free He further yet his love displays, And intercedes for thee.
Awake to holy fear And praise thy God on high; Be it thy joy to praise him here And praise him in the sky.
"ABIDE WITH US"
"Abide with us!" Where could we go? Thou art our strength, thou art our tower, Our refuge from the ills below, In darkness light, in weakness power.
"Abide with us!" We would prevail, And plead that thou be ever near To banish doubts when they assail, And give deliverance from fear.
"Abide with us" in words of love, For thou dost say, "Come unto me." Oh, guide us to thy home above To dwell in joy and peace with thee!
"For he is our peace."
O Bethlehem, where Christ was born And angels watched him where he lay, When cradled on that holy morn That ushered in earth's promised day!
O Bethlehem, it was thy star Which guided o'er the deserts wild Those who had journeyed from afar To gaze upon the sinless child!
O Bethlehem, 'twas thine to see God's choir announce the Saviour's birth, And hear those waves of melody Chant peace and good will to the earth!
O Bethlehem, 'twas thine to weep With Rachel o'er the crimson woe When cruel hands did vainly seek To quench heaven's radiance below!
O Bethlehem, we hear thy call To joy and bliss, and would not cease To praise him who has died for all Who will accept his blood-bought peace!
RING THE BELLS
Ring out the bells of heaven! Obey the great command, That all may hear their melody On mountain, sea, and land, The chimes of glory sounding, Ascending to the sky; Jesus our Savior reigneth Forever more on high.
Ring how he bore our trials And sorrows here below; Of his lamb-like, sinless nature, Purer than falling snow; How he gave his life to banish The clouds of midnight gloom That brooded o'er creation And o'er the dreary tomb.
Ring of the well of Sichar And the everlasting tide, With which its sparkling waters His imagery supplied. Ring of his mighty power To comfort and to heal, His gentleness and sympathy In either woe or weal.
Ring of his blood that speaketh Than Abel's, better things, And to the guilty conscience Sweet peace and pardon brings. Ring how he burst death's fetters In rising from the grave, And from its lasting bondage Will all his people save.
Ring how he intercedeth And ever lives above For all who trust and serve him, Rejoicing in his love; Of the many mansions he's prepared Of everlasting rest, Whose joys no tongue can utter Nor tell how glad and blest.
Awake, then, to your duty, O church of Christ, awake! Behold the beauty of their feet Who the glad tidings take! Reach out and ring the bells of heaven; Blest be the hands that give The truth, that all who listen May hope and joy and live! Ah, 'tis a wondrous story! Good news to all the world! The gospel means glad tidings Wherever 'tis unfurled.
Great God, impart thy Spirit That all who love their Lord May see in life a flitting hour To obey and speak his word.
THE DESERT SPRING
"Oh, no, my lord, she cannot stay; Cast out this bond maid with her mocking child, For they cannot be heirs with thine and mine." Abraham was sad, for he had prayed, "O God, That Ishmael may dwell within thy sight!" And now the message came to him, "Fear not! In all that Sarah says list to her voice. In Isaac shall thy seed be called. Also I'll make of Hagar's son a nation great, Because he sprang from thee."
Then Abraham rose At early dawn, and lading Egypt's child With water and with bread, sent her grief-worn With Ishmael to wander lone within Beersheba's wilderness. While yet the air Was cool, and nature locked in the embrace Of morn, likely the child was blithe and gay, Unheeding the sad face and drooping form Of her who doubtless turned from childhood's tents In tears of woe.
Thrilled with his Arab blood He raced along; and thus to fancy's ear He prattled on: "O mother, do not weep! The Princess Sarah cannot chide us now. We're free! I love the wilderness! I love The earth and sky! Look at those birds, Far as the fleecy clouds! And here Are flowers with which to wreathe my bow. With it I'll bring thee deer and fowl to dress, When by and by we reach a babbling stream Where we may safely dwell."
On, still on, Through arid plains, with blistering feet, Beneath a burning sky, they toil along. The lad no longer talks of birds and flowers, But begs for water—water just to cool His parching throat; and likely 'twas that when Noon's shadows mirrored the encircling hills, He saw the empty flask, and must at last Have fainted on the scorching sand.
We read That Hagar cast him 'neath a shrub, and then, Withdrawing quite a space, she prayed, "O God, Let me not see his death!" and so sank down Upon the ground to watch him where he lay, And wept such tears as touched the world on high With sympathy divine. God heard the lad, And from his radiant home an angel spake: "What aileth thee, O Hagar? Rise and take The lad, and stand him on his feet. I'll make Of him a nation great." Her eyes were opened; And she saw a well, from which with joyful haste She filled her flask and gave the weakling lad A draught which gave him back to health And life again.
Water!—a type of Christ, God's son, that whosoever will may drink That everflowing stream of love and live Eternally! The angel's prophecy foretold Those countless hordes, those tented caravans, Whose graceful steeds have plied through centuries past Those barren, trackless wastes; some of the men Who, Egypt-bound with spicery and balm, Halted beside the lonely pit, and bartered there For that young lad whose coat dyed in the blood Of kids, made Jacob with wild agony exclaim, "This is my Joseph's coat! He has, no doubt, Been rent in twain by beasts!"
The wanderers soon Lay down to rest, 'neath starry skies to wait Another dawn, and on the mother's face There must have been a light of joy divine; For had she not held intercourse with Heaven? Were not its guardian bands around them then In desert weird and wild?
Ye weary souls, Tired travelers on the sands of time, Trust God and look to him for strength! The angel of his word speaks faith and peace, And presses to the thirsting lip the cup Of immortality!
"Childhood and youth are vanity."
Often o'er life's pathway straying Come sweet strains of long ago, To the chords of memory playing Music sweet and music low.
When upon the gray rock musing 'Neath the tree by childhood's home, In the wild bird's note so soothing Tenderly these strains will come.
Gazing on the deep fringed mountain, Distance robing it in blue, Quaffing the familiar fountain, Each repeats the story too.
Wandering by the streamlet flowing Where we played in hours of glee, Hear its murmurs coming, going, Tell of joys that used to be.
Wandering in the leafy wildwood Sometimes in our leisure hours, In the sunny days of childhood How much fairer seemed its flowers!
Watching from the hill the sunset 'Neath the spreading chestnut tree, Youthful dreams and visions come yet Through the years so magically.
Yet how vain these memories olden If they do not teach the truth That within the city golden Only, dwells perpetual youth.
"What means this throng?" a blind man said, Whilst begging by the highway side; Begging and blind, and lacking bread, His ears discern the living tide. "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by," Was answered. Had he heard aright? Oh, was the heavenly healer nigh, He who could give the blind their sight? "Jesus, have mercy!" lo, he cried, "Oh, son of David, pity me!" And when the jeering crowd deride, His accents form a clearer plea. Jesus stood still. A kindly voice Bade him good cheer—"He calleth thee." Thus must his lonely heart rejoice, "He thinks of me; yes, even me!" Bartimaeus found the Living Light Who asked and granted his request. His blinded eyes received their sight; With joy he followed with the rest. How oft when Jesus passes by, The heart-blind hear but don't perceive, Else how they would for mercy cry Ere Christ their Lord should take his leave! Like him of whom this story's told They'd pray, "Lord Jesus, pity me!" And find his power and love could fold Them here and in eternity.
Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.—Luke 19:1-10.
City of palms! whose ancient name Suggests a line of scarlet hue, Type of thy glorious Guest who came And passed with crowds thy borders through, Did aught foretell that on that day, The Lord of life would favor thee, And centuries ring the novel way A soul was made both glad and free?
Zacchaeus knew that through thy gates Came One he oft had longed to see; Alas! how adverse were the fates— So dense the throng, so small was he! Considering, he ran before And climbed into a wayside tree, And ever since the sycamore Is blended with his history.
While peering eagerly below, Above the tumult of the town That soothing voice to mortal woe Bade him to hasten quickly down. "Come," Jesus said, "I must abide And tarry at thy house with thee." Zacchaeus the honor swift applied, And entertained him joyfully.
The people frowned that Christ should dine With a rich sinner publican, Nor knew his act of grace would shine, A star of hope, to fallen man. Zacchaeus assured his royal guest, "Lord, half my goods I give the poor; And if I falsely have opprest, Fourfold I unto men restore."
His listener reads the human heart And all its thoughts unerringly; Alone such wisdom can impart And judge of its sincerity. Jesus received this sin-sick soul, Salvation to his house was given; And while time's cycles onward roll, His faith and works will point toward heaven.
"I came," the Lord of glory said (Nor did he count the pain and cost), "To feed the hungry soul with bread, To seek and save that which was lost."
When April weeps, she wakes the flowers That slept the winter through. Oh, did they dream those frosty hours That she would be untrue And not awaken them in time To smile their smiles of love, To hear the robin's merry chime, And gentle cooing dove?
And when they feel their mother's tears So gently o'er them weep, Will they tell her of their simple fears And visions while asleep? And will they tell her that they dreamed, Beneath their sheets of snow, Such weary dreamings that it seemed The winter ne'er would go?
They'll soon be wide-awake and up, In dainty robes arrayed, Blue violet, gold buttercup, And quaker-lady staid. Wild eglantine and clustering thorn Will grace the byway lanes, Whilst woodland flowers the dells adorn And daisies cheer the plains.
The rippling streamlet soon will be A crystal mirror bright For waving branch and mint and tree That nod in golden light Of summer sunbeams glad'ning rays Filling the heart with love, While nature and earth, uniting, praise The God who reigns above.
In lowly spots will lilies spring And scent the summer breeze, And on the earth there'll be no king Arrayed like one of these. So weeping April's tears will bring Her children from the tomb, Will dress the earth in robes of spring, Brightened by fragrant bloom.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.—Matthew 2:1.
Bethlehem, where Christ was born, Bethlehem, the Christian's star! Bethlehem's prophetic morn Echoed ages from afar. Where the shepherds heard the song Heralding the holy birth, Tidings that would right the wrong, News of joy from heaven to earth.
This the song the angels sang: "Peace on earth, good will to men." Glory in the highest rang, Glory now and glory then. Christ, the king of earth and heaven, Gave himself to cleanse our sin; Through his blood we are forgiven And eternal life may win.
Come to him with every woe; He has said, "Come unto me." Better refuge none can know Whither to safely, gladly flee. Well may hallelujahs ring O'er God's gift from heaven above; Yet, although the angels sing, Angels cannot tell his love.
We traveled by a mountain's edge, It was September calm and bright, Nature had decked its rocky ledge With flowers of varied hue and height. It seemed a miracle that they Should flourish in that meager soil, As noble spirits oftenest may Gleam forth through poverty and toil.
Below were rippling, sparkling streams Through meadows kissed by shadowy hills, Reflecting autumn's peaceful dreams Within those swift, translucent rills. This lesson should these scenes impart As on the road of life we go, To do our duty and take heart, As flowers bloom and streamlets flow.
Perhaps in ages yet to be May flowers wave here e'en as today, These streams still rush in merry glee To cheer and charm who here may stray; But we upon Time's rapid tide Like morning mists will disappear; But if by faith to Christ allied, Heaven's glory is both sure and clear.
We look from Nature to her God; We feel his presence from above; We know that when the earth he trod, He preached through her his wondrous love. What is there in our flitting years With this pure treasure can compare? His love can wipe away our tears, His love can lighten every care.
THE MIGRATORY SWANS
A necklace in the depth of blue Of scintillating, silvery pearls, Which peering eagerly we view As gracefully it curves and whirls, Safely and swiftly, far away They seek the groves of date and lime; Naught can arrest and naught dismay From heights so lofty and sublime.
In dreams alone their wintry home Can haunt them with its ice and snow; Mingled with visions as they come Of shimmering waves where lilies grow And open lakes are fresh and clear, Fit mirror for a plumaged breast, Shaded by moss-grown trees. 'Tis here They'll dip and dive in gleeful rest.
Vanished! and vainly do we try To trace upon the distant air That scroll which written on the sky Told of the hand which led them there. Could we upon our heavenward way From tempting snares as far remove And be as disenthralled as they, We'd plainer show a guiding love.
We skim too closely to the earth, We press too slowly for the prize, Let thoughts and cares of trivial worth Retard our journey to the skies. Oh, let us watch and pray to have A loftier flight from transient things, Inspired like swans at last to lave In streams of bliss our wearied wings!
And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna and many others who ministered unto him of their substance.—Luke 8:3. Mark 14:3-9. John 12:3-8. Matthew 26:6-13. Luke 7:37-50. John 11:3.
Those women who their Christ and Lord Aided by gentle ministry, Have gained their race a rich reward, Treasured in sacred history.
Joanna is unknown at court, Although entitled to be there; The record of her life's report In fadeless glory has its share.
Susanna's name is intertwined, A gem as sparkling and as clear As those with which it is enshrined; And this is all we know of her.
And those whose names have not been given Are now in realms of light and love, Praising him mid the choirs of heaven, Crowned with his joy and peace and love.
Mary of Magdala was brought From mysteries strange and dark and drear To heights with joy and gladness fraught; She radiates a luster clear.
Those chimes from Bethany will ring With power that will not, cannot die; Martha's and Mary's names will sing Long as the flitting centuries fly.
That spikenard, which 'twas wholly meet Mary should pour upon his head, Has filled with fragrance rare and sweet Succeeding ages as they've fled.
And when a critic standing near Censured her act, misunderstood, Christ spoke so that the world might hear; He said, "She hath done what she could."
This her memorial while the sun Traverses the blue dome of heaven, Fulfilling while time's cycles run Christ's prophecy which then was given.
Unto the end these faithful few, Regardless of all pain and loss, Did what their hearts and hands could do, Though bowed with wonder at the cross.
Such love they could not understand, Such love unto his latest breath; That love had our redemption planned Both in his life and in his death.
They haunt the tomb in which he lay, Grief-stricken, desolate, and lone; But Magdalene at break of day Found that her precious charge was gone.
Two angels said, "Why weepest thou?" The angels knew ere they inquired. They knew her heart could triumph now, These sinless ones by love inspired.
She, weeping, told her loss and woe, Then answered thus a questioner near: "Sir, if thou dost his refuge know, Tell me. I seek him vainly here."
"Mary!" She listened to her name Uttered by Christ, her risen Lord. "Master?" her trembling lips exclaim, Then wondered, worshipped, and adored.
Her joy is ours! Oh, may we see That joy more plainly every day! Christ lives and loves eternally,— Swift feet such tidings should convey.
Eternal life and heavenly rest He purchased by death's agony, That whosoever will be blest With glorious immortality.
May we our sisters of the past In life and character revere, Like them be faithful to the last, Like them be loving and sincere.
First must the gospel plan of love To every land and tribe be given, Ere He'll return who from above Is God's best gift to earth from heaven.
THAT JEWISH LAD
There is a lad here which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes.—John 6:9.
He must have been a thoughtful youth, His name the record has not given, But if his heart imbibed the truth, 'Tis written in the books of heaven. A cipher in the multitude, He followed with his meager store, And far from his perception crude The miracle that made it more.
With loaves and fishes few, this lad By power and aid of one divine Has made the hungry thousands glad And God's providing power to shine. When at the midweek hour of prayer Ye faithful mourn your number few, Pray He who fed that throng be there Your faith and vigor to renew.
He will your meek petitions hear Which, like those loaves and fishes small, Will cause his glory to appear In showers of blessing that will fall. The centuries are sweeping by, Bearing their millions gay and sad, And wafting those to realms on high Who follow with that Jewish lad.
Grace be with them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.—Ephesians 6:24.
Thou saddened one whose longing eyes Seek quickening thoughts to glean, Whose views of Christ, the Heavenly prize, Clouds often veer between, That rapture which may be expressed By others constantly Is not thine own; in truth confessed, Where is the mystery?
Ask now these questions of thy soul: My heart, is it sincere? Do I his holy name extol, And is He truly dear? Like Peter can I, too, record And urge his earnest plea, "Thou knowest all things, gracious Lord; Thou knowest I love Thee"?
There is no music like his voice: To this can'st thou attest? No message makes thee so rejoice As "Come to me and rest"? If there's been left within thine heart By word or deed a thorn, Can prayer extract the cruel dart And heal it ere the morn?
Does prayer cast out disquietude And every bitter thought; All hate and enmity exclude By Love with patience fraught? Or, if perchance there may be found A hurt that festers still, Is this the balm that soothes the wound— "'Twas needed; 'tis God's will"?
Is there a saint, however poor, However lowly born, That earthly treasure could allure Thee to mistreat or scorn? These queries, are they answered well? Then press with joy toward Heaven, Filled with that peace tongue cannot tell, The sense of sin forgiven.
Accept your Saviour's proffered rest! Behold! there's grace for thee; All those who love Him now are blest,— Love in sincerity.
They're coming! And it seems so long Since sadly autumn laid them low. They left us with the robin's song, They left us to the ice and snow.
They're coming! So the March wind saith. Though singing songs with icy breath, He's chanting of another May, He's chanting of King Winter's death.
They're coming! 'Neath the forest's mold, In mossy beds of ferny soil, Slowly their tiny robes unfold, Yet do they neither spin nor toil.
They're coming! With their influence pure, Their emblematic power again Of him who would our steps allure To realms of love, devoid of pain.
They're coming! With the summer's breeze, With azure skies and sunny showers, With notes of birds and hum of bees— Who will not welcome back the flowers?