Written by James O. Clarke.
Leona, the hour draws nigh,
The hour we've awaited so long,
For the angel to open a door through the sky,
That my spirit may break from its prison, And try
Its voice in an infinite song.
Just now. as the slumbers of night
Came o'er me with peace-giving breath,
The curtain half lifted, revealed to my sight
Those windows which look on the kingdom of light
That borders the river of death.
And a vision fell, solemn and sweet,
Bringing gleams of a morning-lit land;
I saw the white shore which the pale waters beat,
And I heard the low lull as they broke at their feet
Who walked on the beautiful strand.
And I wondered why spirits should cling
To their clay with a struggle And sigh,
When life's purple autumn is better than spring,
And the soul flies away like a sparrow, to sing
In a climate where leaves never die.
Leona, come close to my bed,
And lay your dear hand on my brow;
The same touch that thrilled me in days that are fled,
And raised the lost roses of youth from the dead,
Can brighten the brief moments now.
We have loved from the cold world apart,
And your trust was too generous and true
For their hate to o'erthrow; when the slanderer's dart
Was rankling deep in my desolate heart,
I was dearer than ever to you.
I thank the great Father for this,
That our love is not lavished in vain;
Each germ in the future will blossom to bliss,
Andthe forms that we love, And the lips that we kiss,
Never shrink at the shadow of pain.
By the light of this faith am I taught
That my labor Is only begun;
In the strength of this hope have I struggled and fought
With the legions of wrong, till my armor has caught
The gleam of eternity's sun.
Leona, look forth, and behold
From headland, from hillside, and deep,
The day-king surrenders his banners of gold,
The twilight advances through woodland and wold,
And the dews are beginning to weep.
The moon's silver hair lies uncurled,
Down the broad-breasted mountains away;
Ere sunset's red glories again shall lie furled
On the walls of the west, o'er the plains of the world,
I shall rise in a limitless day.
Oh! come not in tears to my tomb,
Nor plant with frail flowers the sod;
There is rest among roses too sweet for its gloom,
And life where the lilies eternally bloom
In the balm-breathing gardens of God.
Yet deeply those memories burn
Which bind me to you and to earth.
And I sometimes have thought that my being would yearn
In the bowers of its beautiful home to return,
And visit the home of its birth.
Twould even be pleasant to stay,
And walk by your side to the last;
But. the land breeze of heaven Is beginning to playLife's shadows are meeting eternity's day,
And its tumult is bushed in the past.
Leona, good-bye; should the grief
That is gathering now ever Be
Too dark for your faith, you will long for relief,
And remember, the journey, though lonesome, is brief,
Over lowland and river to me.