John Greenleaf Whittier

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Gone to thy Heavenly Father's rest! The flowers of Eden round thee blowing, And on thine ear the murmurs blest Of Siloa's waters softly flowing! Beneath that Tree of Life which gives To all the earth its healing leaves In the white robe of angels clad And wandering by the sacred river, Whose steams of holiness make glad The city of our God forever! Gentlest of spirits! not for thee Our tears are shed, our sights are given; Why mourn to know thou art a free Partaker of the joys of heaven? Finished thy work, and kept thy faith In Christian firmness unto death; And beautiful as sky and earth, when autumn's sun is downward going, The blessed memory of thy worth Around thy place of slumber glowing! But woe for us! who linger still With feebler strength and hearts less lowly, And minds less steadfast to the will Of Him whose every work is holy. for not like thine, is crucified The spirit of our human pride: And at the bondsman's tale of woe, and for the outcast and forsaken, Not warm like thine, but cold and slow, Our weaker sympathies awaken. Darkly upon our struggling way The storm of human hate is sweeping; Hunted and branded, and at prey, Our watch amidst the darkness keeping, Oh, for that hidden strength which can Nerve unto death the inner man! Oh, for thy spirit, tired and true, And constant in the hour of trial, Prepared to suffer, or to do, In meekness and in self-denial. Oh, for that spirit, meek and mild, Derided, spurned, yet uncomplaining; By man deserted and reviled, Yet faithful to its trust remaining. Still prompt and resolute to save From scourge and chain the hunted slave; Unwavering in Truth's defence, Even where the fires of Hate were burning, The unquailing eye of innocence Alone upon the oppressor turning! O loved of thousands! to thy grave, Sorrowing of heart, thy brethren bore thee. The poor man and the rescued slave Wept as the broken earth closed o'er thee; And grateful tears, like summer rain, Quickened its dying grass again! And there, as to some pilgrim-shrine, Shall come the outcast and the lowly, Of gentle deeds and words of thine Recalling memories sweet and holy! Oh, for the death the righteous die! An end, like autumn's day declining, On human hearts, as on the sky, With holier, tendered beauty shining; As to the parting soul were given The radiance of an opening heaven! As if that pure and blessed light, From off the Eternal alter flowing, Were bathing, in its upward flight, The spirit to its worship going!