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Good Words 1860

Alone, at midnight as he knelt, his spirit was aware
Of Somewhat falling in between the silence and the prayer.

A bell's dull clangour that hath sped so far, it faints and dies
So soon as it hath reach'd the ear whereto its errand lies;

And as he rose up from his knees, his spirit was aware
Of Somewhat, forceful and unseen, that sought to hold him there.

As of a Form that stood behind, and on his shoulders prest
Both hands to stay his rising up, and Somewhat in his breast,

In accents clearer far than words, spake, "Pray yet longer, pray,
For one that ever pray'd for thee, this night hath pass'd away;

"A soul that climbing hour by hour, the silver-shining stair
That leads to God's great treasure-house, grew covetous; and there

''Was stored no blessing and no boon, for thee she did not claim,
(So lowly, yet importunate!) and ever with thy name

"She link'd, that none in earth or heaven might hinder it or stay,
One Other Name, so strong, that thine hath never miss'd its way.

"This very night within my arms this gracious soul I bore
Within the Gate, where many a prayer of hers had gone before;

"And where she resteth, evermore, one constant song they raise,
Of ' Holy, holy,' so that now I know not if she prays;

"But for the voice of Praise in heaven, a voice of Prayer hath gone
From Earth; thy name upriseth now no more; pray on, pray on."          D. G.

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