Bush, Olivia Ward
|The Burning Logs -- of Memory|
At the gate of the dear old homestead,
With hands clasped in lingering farewell,
We stood together in silence,
With feelings no language could tell,
As I looked in the face before me,
With its crown of silver gray hair,
I could see 'neath the lines of sorrow,
The image of Christ printed there.
Just a moment before, in her dwelling,
We had knelt together in prayer,
We had felt the peace of His presence,
And we knew that the Saviour was there,
And now came the moment of parting,
Standing there at the quaint rustic gate,
And somehow we felt but one impulse,
And that was to linger and wait,
For our hearts were too full for expression,
So we looked at each other and smiled,
And she with a voice firm, yet tender,
Said, "Be faithful, be faithful my child,
Remember the dear mother sleeping,
In the churchyard there by the road,
Oh, remember she gave you her blessing,
E're she entered her final abode."
Oh, remember she pled with the Father,
To keep you, her child in His care,
And to bring you at least to His Kingdom,
And she would be waiting there.
And He will my dear if you're faithful,
And then with a tear in her eye,
She whispered once more, "Oh, be faithful,"
God bless you my child, now, "Good-bye."
Good-bye! I could scarcely repeat it,
As I slowly turned from the place,
And I cast a longing glance backward,
For a glimpse of the dear old face
And there she was standing, still smiling,
And waving her dear withered hand,
While I in return smiled bravely,
With emotions I scarce could command.
Then I turned and lingered a moment,
At the churchyard there by the road,
And I thought of the dear Sainted mother,
Resting now at home with her God
Beyond lay the broad sparkling river,
Clear as crystal its bright waters shone,
And I thought of another we read of,
Winding its way by God's Throne.
Then I hastened once more on my journey,
Out into the world with its care,
Out into the world's temptations,
Which I knew were waiting me there.
But somehow new strength seemed given,
To battle and strive against sin,
And somehow I felt I should conquer,
And at last the victory win.
Be faithful, I hear the words ringing,
With sweetness, down, down through the years,
Giving hope in my hours of darkness,
Dispelling my doubts and my fears.
Oft in fancy I see the dear one,
As she looked in my face and smiled,
Oft in fancy I hear her soft whisper,
Oh, be faithful, be faithful my child.
In the hush of the Sabbath evening,
The people were wending their way,
To worship in God's own temple,
Where so often, they met to pray.
They had said like the Psalmist David,
"Let us go to the House of the Lord,
We're athirst for the living water,
And we long to feed on His word."
So they entered His sacred dwelling,
And they sat in silence there,
While the man of God bowed humbly,
And offered a fervent prayer
That the peace of the Holy Spirit
Might enter each waiting soul,
That some weary wounded seeker,
Might believe and be made whole.
And the people's hearts grew tender,
As they heard the earnest prayer,
And their souls rejoiced within them,
For the Comforter was there;
Then followed the Holy Communion,
That Ordinance so divine,
And they ate of the bread, His body,
And they drank of His blood, the wine.
'Twas an hour of earnest devotion,
'Mid the hush and the holy calm,
Bringing its rest to the weary,
To the wounded, its healing balm.
Then a burst of heavenly music,
Broke over the stillness again,
And the sweet familiar "Palm Branches,"
Rang out in triumphant strain.
Louder and louder swelling,
Till it echoed with richness untold,
Till it seemed that the Master was coming,
As he did in the days of old
When He rode as a king in triumph,
Through the streets of Jerusalem,
And they cast their garments before Him,
And proclaimed Him the "Ruler of Men."
And to-night the people adoring,
Gave honor to Him above,
And they brought Him, each one an offering,
The beautiful palms of love.
While the rich full strains of music,
So sweetly their spirits controlled,
Till it seemed that the Hosts of Heaven,
Were striking their Harps of gold.
And bowing in praise before Him,
Crying, "Holy, thrice Holy our Lord,
As they stood on the banks of the River,
Which flows by the bright Throne of God,
And the people waited enraptured,
For the last faint echo to cease,
Then arose and passed from His temple,
And went on their way in peace.
They were glad like the Psalmist David,
That they went to the House of the Lord,
They had drank from the Living Waters,
They had fed on His precious Word,
In their souls the strain of Palm Branches,
Seemed to linger and gently abide,
They remembered with joy its sweetness,
In the hush of that even-tide.
Yes, I know I am a stranger,
But when you came in that door,
I just felt that I could trust you,
Though we've never met before,
That white ribbon you are wearing,
Somehow makes me want to say,
Something that's been pressing on me,
It has troubled me all day.
Thanks! I knew that you would listen,
When I saw your bow of white,
So I'll just begin and tell you,
Of a dream I had last night.
It was strange that I should dream it,,
For my dreams are very few,
But this seemed to be so real,
And I hope it won't come true.
I was in a great tall building,
Shut up in a dark, dark room,
And the darkness was so fearful,
That it seemed like mid-night gloom,
And I prayed, and begged, and pleaded,
For some friend to let me out,
But in vain my cries and pleading,
I was doomed without a doubt.
Then I ceased to call and listen,
For I heard sweet voices sing,
And their tones grew loud and louder,
Till they made the arches ring,
With these words that they were singing,
There is no more room in Heaven,
And to him who strays and wanders,
Entrance there shall not be given.
Ah! I thought of dear Old England,
How I've made the organ ring,
In the old church on the corner,
How the choir used to sing,
I have heard the sweetest music,
I have played the sweetest songs,
Grand old airs from Hayden Handel,
Music that has stirred the throngs.
But last night those voices singing,
"There is no more room in Heaven,
And to him who strays and wanders,
Entrance there shall not be given,"
Made me ask myself the question,
Is there no more room for me?
Am I shut outside of Heaven,
Now and for Eternity?
Then I prayed again and pleaded,
Begged that I might be released,
But they heeded not my pleading,
And the voices never ceased.
Singing, no more room in heaven,
And I knew I was denied,
Entrance through the Heavenly Portal,
I alone was shut outside.
All night long I heard the singing,
And the words were just the same,
And to tell the truth about it,
I was glad when morning came,
But somehow I can't help thinking,
That perhaps I'd ought to pray,
For I haven't heard a sermon,
Or a prayer for many a day.
Though I promised the dear mother
That I'd go to meeting some,
But it's been five years and over,
Since I left the dear old home.
And I haven't kept my promise,
But that dream I had last night,
Makes me feel ashamed and sorry,
That I haven't done just right.
Yes, I know I should be better,
And I'm really going to try,
For I've been so wild and reckless,
That I'm hardly fit to die,
But you've made me feel more cheerful,
For your words have been so kind,
And somehow the burden's lifted,
That was pressing on my mind.
Well, Good-bye, I'm glad I met you,
And I'll do just as you say,
I will write the dear old mother,
That her boy has learned to pray,
And although I've strayed and wandered,
Though I've lived so carelessly,
I will try to enter Heaven,
For I know there's room for me.