Heard (Henderson), Josephine D.
|THE QUARTO CENTENNIAL|
O THAT the Holy Angels would invite
Fit words of praise that I might write;
Or to my timid faltering heart reveal,
Some secret hidden spring, some new found seal,
That guards a casket rich and rare and old,
Of gems as rich and pure as finest gold--
Or, to some unknown depth might I descend,
Or, would some fairy sprite its wings me lend,
That I might soar aloft and pierce the azure sky--
Might penetrate earth's bosom with discerning eye;
Or would the touch of heavenly hands inspire
My soul, then filled with pure and holy fire,
Might wake the cords that now lie dormant here,
And catch some rich vibrations from celestial sphere.
Year after year is born and glides away,
And generations rise and flourish and decay;
Flowers bud and blossom, fade and fall,
But the eternal truth outlives them all.
As in the forest stands the sturdy oak.
Where the young ravens scream and groan and croak,
Stand like monuments of the unhappy past,
Those who have brav'd the summer's heat, and
On mountain height where hungry eagles slept,
In deep ravine where poisonous reptiles crept,
Undaunted to the Master's call take they heed,
And proved themselves his followers indeed.
On, on, though often dark and chill the night,
In the vineyard gleaning with cycle bright,
In the rank marshes, or whereso'er He led,
The sky their only covering, the earth their only bed.
O, welcome day, when peace broods o'er the land;
Free and untrammeled roams the Christian band,
No guillotine is reared, no furious crackling stake;
No flames leap high the Christian's life to take.
How swift the flight of five and twenty years,
Freighted with hope and grief, with joy and tears;
To duty came the call that sacred day--
Strong in the Master's strength, Paul like they did
But free to tread his own or foreign sod,
His voice upraised to the eternal God--
No bodies torn asunder fill untimely graves,
And o'er the world Salvation's Banner waves.
Oh ! Allen, you are with us here to-day,
Noting these services, this grand array;
Those sightless eyes methinks look into mine,
With holy happiness divine.
With gratitude we gather here and now --
Our praises render while we meekly bow
To heaven, who gave us such as thee,
And God's own Son who died to set us free.