I've read of the beautiful home of a King,
'T was a palace stately and fair,
With gleaming arches, and marble towers,
Shining white in the upper air;
The sloping acres were thick with flowers,
Bird-songs flooded the perfumed bowers,
A vision of glory, a throne of power,
Was this palace of the King.
Beneath the walls of the palace grand
All lowly a cottage stood.
No royal name had the dwellers there,
Nor a trace of the royal blood;
But only a common path they trod,
In sight of the castle towers,
And only the perfume came to them
From out of the castle bowers;
But a little girl in the lowly cot
Was fair as the palace flowers.
This little maid with the shining eyes
Was in love with the palace fair,
And wistfully watched the gleaming towers,
Outlined in the upper air.
When music swept from the regal halls,
And flooded the perfumed breeze,
She stood entranced at the open gates
Overhung by the stately trees,
Until she seemed in the royal place
Herself the child of a royal race,
Upon her rested such nameless grace,
Befitting the child of a king.
The King who dwelt in the castle tall,
Had looked on the child one day
As she stood enthralled at the open gates,
And he loved her tenderly;
So he waited oft for the little feet,
And he watched for the shining eyes,
As they sought the beauty about his path,
With a wistful look and wise;
And he said: "She's worthy crown and throne!
I'll make the little one all my own;
She shall dwell with me in my palace home,
And be the child of a king."
So he came one day to the lowly cot,--
The King from the palace fair,--
And tenderly laid his jeweled hand
On the head with its sunny hair;
So gently he spoke to the parents then,
While they trembled to hear his tone:
"She shall dwell with me in the palace near,
And be to me as my own;
Your love is large, but your wealth is small,
My love and wealth can compass all;
Will you give her to me--the King?"
Then the mother bent o'er the winsome face,
All smitten with speechless woe;
The father weeping the slow, hot tears,
That only the strong may know;
But the little maid, with shining eyes,
Looked off to the marble towers,
And caught the spell of the music sweet,
And the breath of the palace of flowers;
Then said: "Please mamma; do let me go;
I know the palace, and love it so,
And I am to be his child, you know,
The child of the great, good King."
So they watched her going, and o'er the cot,
Ah me! what a shadow fell!
Till they raised their eyes to the shining towers,
And then they said: "It is well."
They thought of the King with his regal face,
And the palace so grand and fair,
Then lifted their brows with a chastened grace,
Saying softly, "Our child is there.
Our love was great, but our wealth was small,
Now into her life no want can fall--
Our darling is with the King."
* * * * * * *
Suppose it were heaven--the palace fair--
Of which in our sorrow I sing;
Suppose that he with a regal face
Were Jesus, the glorious King;
Suppose the cottage outside the walls
Were the home that is full of woe;
Suppose the child with the shining eyes
Were she we are mourning so;
O would it not help us toward the light,
To think of sweet Ella, our heart's delight,
Safe in that country which has no night--
In the presence of the King?
On the earthly home the shadow falls,
But the light gleams on o'er the palace walls;
We sit in the silence and make our moan,
But there the rapturous song goes on.
O, happy are those who henceforth share
Her love that sought for the gateway rare;
O happy are those whom the path she trod,
Shall lure on after her, up to God;
Oh! happy the day when hearts that break,
Shall say: "It is well for our darling's sake
That she, with her winsome, shining face,
That she, with her gentle, sinless grace,
In love with the King and his high place,
Is at home in the palace fair."