How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace. — Isaiah.
Where no breeze stole, or lovely sunlight came
To kiss dark shadows into golden flame
Within the city dusk, upon his bed
There lay the child, half living and half dead—
Blighted by false belief. No woodland air
Had bloomed the cheeks or kissed the cloudy hair;
Never the little feeble limbs had run
Through flushing fields beneath the fading sun.
So mortal thought had beckoned to life's close,
Aye, even as it slays a trembling rose;
And crouched within the silver gloom close by,
The mother battled with her agony.
"Great God, I cannot pierce Thy cruel will!
In vain the prayers, the watching, and the skill.
Husband and happiness and wealth I gave
Unto the greedy and the voiceless grave.
Hear me, O Christ who healed the widow's son,
I cannot wail to heav'n, 'Thy will be done'!"
Then from the sordid street, on footsteps light
A slender figure stole into the night
Of that despair-encircled room, and lo,
As when the living Christ flamed to and fro,
The dusk took on a glory! Half in fear,
The mother whispered, "Who has entered here?"
Long by the little bed the stranger stood,
While the reflected love of motherhood
Glimmered within the deep'ning eyes, that smiled
Even as Mary on her radiant child.
"I come," she whispered, "that your heart may feel
How God can hearken and His love can heal.
Listen, my friend,— the little child you see
Lying so still, reflects Divinity,—
Spirit, Life, substance,— he should ever keep
The perfect image of his God! You weep?
Would you ascribe to God the godless power
Of sending evil on a tender flower?
Do I rave? Yet suffer it to be,
That death may melt before Divinity!"