Thou, whom stern anguish wastes away,
Whose sallow cheek is token
That angel-peace makes not her stay
With thee, the lost and broken--
Thou shudderest at the many pangs
That weary ones inherit;
Misery, with relentless fangs,
Hath fastened on thy spirit.
Too weak to bear the petty strife
And vanquish by enduring,
Wilt thou a recreant, rush from life,
Remorse, unknown, ensuring?
The secret strings that have their birth
In kindness, wilt thou sever?
And snap the cords that link to earth,
Aye, rudely, and forever!
And, rash one! darest thou deface
His tabernacle given,
Whereon is left the matchless grace,
The dignity of heaven?
Exist not ties to bind thee still
To those of thy own nature?
Imperious duties to fulfil
Unto thy great Creator?
Bethink thee!--is there not a heart
Whose pulse to thine is beating?
And dost thou not possess a part
In childhood's guileless greeting?
Stay thee! a soothing hand is near
To dry the tear that's stealing:
And Hope, the bright enchantress, here
Her rainbow is revealing.
'Tis sad, in sorrow's bitter doom
This gay cold world to cumber;
Yet who within the sullen tomb,
Uncalled, should seek a slumber?
O, Thou, the framer of my lot,
Who gav'st and who has taken,
Do what thou wilt, but leave me not
Thus hopelessly forsaken.