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SONGS FOE GIRLHOOD. 113
Then why pause with indecisiou, When bright angels in thy vision Beckon thee to fields Elysian ?
Seest thou shadows sailing by, As the dove, with startled eye, Sees the falcon's shadow fly ?
Hearest thou voices on the shore, That our ears perceive no more, Deafened by the cataract's roar ?
Oh, thou child of many prayers!
Life hath quicksands�life hath snares!
Care and age come unawares!
Like the swell of some sweet tune, Morning rises into noon, May glides onward into June.
Childhood is the bough where slumbered Birds and blossoms many numbered; Age that bough with snows encumbered.
Gather, then, each flower that grows, When the young heart overflows, To embalm that tent of snows.
Bear a lily in thy hand;
Gates of brass can not withstand
One touch of that magic wand.
Bear through sorrow, wrong, and ruth, In thy heart the dew of youth, On thy lips the smile of truth.
Oh, that dew, like balm, shall steal Into wounds that can not heal, Even as sleep our eyes doth seal!
And that smile, like sunshine, dart Into many a sunless heart, For a smile of God thou art.
Oh, then what joy to walk at will Upon the golden harvest-hill!
What joy in dreaming ease to lie
Amid a field new-shorn, And see all round, on sunlit slopes,
The piled-up shocks of corn, And send the fancy wandering o'er All pleasant harvest-fields of yore!
I feel the day; I see the field, The quivering of the leaves,
And good old Jacob and his house Binding the yellow sheaves!
And at this very hour I seem
To be with Joseph in his dream!
I see the fields of Bethlehem,
And reapers, many a one, Bending unto their sickles' stroke,
And Boaz looking on; And Ruth, the Moabitess fair, Among the gleaners stooping there!
Again, I see a little child, His mother's sole delight�
God's living gift of love unto The kind, good Shunamite;
To mortal pangs I see him yield,
And the lad bear him from the field.
The sun-bathed quiet of the hills,
The fields of Galilee, That, eighteen hundred years ago,
Were full of corn, I see, And the dear Saviour take his way 'Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath-day.
Oh, golden fields of bending corn!
How beautiful they seem! The reaper folk, the piled-up sheaves,
To me are like a dream; The sunshine and the very air Seem of old time, and take me there.
When on the breath of autumn's breeze, From pastures dry and brown,
Goes floating, like an idle thought, The fair white thistle-down�
John G. Whittieb.
Maud Muller, on a summer's day, Raked the meadow, sweet with hay.