Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

George Eliot

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At evening once, the lowly men who loved
Our Master were found desolate, and grieved
For Him whose eyes had been the glory of
Their lives. He, silent, followed them, and joined
Himself unto their sorrow; with the voice
Of love that liveth past the end, and yearns
Like empty arms across the sepulchre,
Did comfort them. They heard, and knew Him not.


At eventide, O Lord, one trod for us
The solitary way of a great Soul;
Whereof the peril, pain, and debt, alone
He knows, who marked the road.
We watched, and held
Her in our arms of prayer. We wept, and said:
Our sister hath a heavy hurt. We bow,
And cry: The crown is buried with the Queen.


At twilight, as she, groping, sought for rest,
What solemn footfall echoed down the dark?
What tenderness that would not let her go?
And patience that Love only knoweth, paced
Silent, beside her, to the last, faint step?
What scarred Hand gently caught her as she sank?
Thou being with her, though she knew Thee not.

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward