Sarah Orne Jewett


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A sleeping giant in his cloak of grass—
The strong great hill that lifts against the sky;
And nothing wakes him, even when we climb
Far up with careless footsteps, you and I.

Though God's life is the life that moves the world,
Our lives are still our own to hold and guide;
And though all nature lives to show us God,
Yet in it heart and consciousness abide.

I more and more its faithful friendship know.
And so, when restless and adrift, I keep
Great comfort in a quietness like this;—
An awful strength that lies in fearless sleep;
On this great shoulder lay my head, nor miss
The things I longed for but an hour ago.

It sometimes happens that two friends will meet
And with a smile and touch of hands, again
Go on their way along the noisy street:
Each is so sure of all the friendship sweet,
The loving silence gives no thought of pain.
And so, I think, those friends whom we call dead
Are with us. It may be some quiet hour
Or time of busy work for hand or head—
Their love fills all the heart that missed them so;
They bring a sweet assurance of the life
Serene, above the worry that we know;
And we grow braver for the comfort brought.
Why should we mourn because they do not speak
Our words that lie so far below their thought?

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Sarah Orne Jewett