Sympathy, by William Wilsey Martin

Sympathy

How shall I breathe to thee
From my worn heart,
Words of sweet sympathy,
Thoughts that shall solace thee
In thy hard part?
How shall I preach to thee
The sacred strain;
Tell thee, thy loss is gain;
Tell thee, thy grief is joy;
Tell thee, thou'lt meet thy boy
In Heaven again?
This part is not for me,
Mine, silently shall be,
To weep with thee.
When slips away
The dreary day
Behind the rounded hills, and solemn night,
Enthroned amid her stars of argent light,
Rules the still world--the mourner's cherish'd hour,
Sacred to grief, and that mysterious power
Which we call memory--
Then, my part shall be
To weep with thee.   When thou, bereft of sleep,
Shalt prayerful vigil keep,
And, peering in the gloom
Of thy encurtain'd room,
Shalt see, in vision-wise, his little cot,
Shalt hear his evening prayer,
And kiss his forehead fair,
Stroke his yellow hair,
Then listen for thy darling's sleeping breath,
Now hush'd in death;
And when Reality, with stony eyes,
Sits on thy couch, and thou dost realize
The dread decree--
"Thou shalt go to him, but he
Shall not, shall not return to thee; "
When the fountains of thy woe
Thine eyelids overflow,
Drenching thy pillow in a bitter sea,
Then will I think of thee,
Then my part shall be
To weep with thee.   Weep, 'twill ease thy pain;
Tears are the kindly rain
By Heaven sent
To moisten our hard hearts beneath its sky,
Lest they should shrink, and shrivel, and be dry:
Lest the white blooms of Charity should die,
Faded and spent.
Oh! There is joy in sadness,
There is bliss in tears--
Amid the summer showers,
The arché d bow appears--
A promise gleaming through the mists of years,
In characters that burn and glow--
Sorrow shall cease--tears shall not always flow.

poems.one - William Wilsey Martin