Menella Bute Smedley

In The Night

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Across the moon the beech-tree weaves
An airy mystery of leaves,
The lights which through that covert pass
Glisten like rain-drops on the grass;
From clustering woods, unseen, though near,
The noise of falling streams I hear;
From earth asleep to watching sky
Night goeth upward like a sigh.
O! surely man and earth were made
For silence, solitude, and shade;
Life's work seems not to do, but done,
The rest achieved, the victory won;
Out of all thoughts of sorrow die
The sting, the shame, the agony,
Joy seems an angel's holy kiss,
And grief is but a graver bliss.
The Past hath lost its burning dreams,
Its vain regrets, and memory seems
A wayside well in time of heat,
Where we may bathe our weary feet;
The Future seems a solemn height
A long soft track of temper'd light,
Through purer airs we walk, we climb,
And from our Home look back on time.
Like some great picture nobly wrought,
Grows the whole realm of life and thought,
We did not know how fair the field,
Till here a Master's hand reveal'd
Those changing tints we did not mark,
Those harmonies of bright and dark,
And that far line where, pure and pale,
Earth, touching Heaven, must faint and fail.
O, Father! is it all in vain?
Must we go back to strife again?
From Thee these peaceful moments come,
These glimpses of the bliss of Home,
Ah! let the sweet night overflow,
And cleanse the day from sin and woe,
For how should evil overpower
The soul that saw Thee for one hour!

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Menella Bute Smedley