Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN, by PHOEBE CARY

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THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh! Beautiful as morning in those hours
Last Line: Down to death's chamber, and his bridal-bed.
Subject(s): Women; Christianity; Death

OH! beautiful as morning, in those hours
When, as her pathway lies along the hills,
Her golden fingers wake the dewy flowers,
And softly touch the waters of the rills,
Was she who walk'd more faintly day by day,
Till silently she perish'd by the way.

It was not hers to know that perfect heaven
Of passionate love return'd by love as deep;
Not hers to sing the cradle-song at even,
Watching the beauty of her babe asleep;
"Mother and brethren" -- these she had not known
Save such as do the Father's will alone.

Yet found she something still for which to live --
Hearths desolate, where angel-like she came,
And "little ones," to whom her hand could give
A cup of water in her Master's name;
And breaking hearts to bind away from death
With the soft hand of pitying love and faith.

She never won the voice of popular praise,
But, counting earthly triumph as but dross,
Seeking to keep her Saviour's perfect ways,
Bearing in the still path his blessed cross,
She made her life, while with us here she trod,
A consecration to the will of God!

And she hath lived and labour'd not in vain;
Through the deep prison cells her accents thrill
And the sad slave leans idly on his chain,
And hears the music of her singing still;
While little children, with their innocent praise,
Keep freshly in men's hearts her Christian ways.

And what a beautiful lesson she made known,
The whiteness of her soul sin could not dim;
Ready to lay down on God's altar-stone
The dearest treasure of her life for him.
Her flame of sacrifice never, never waned,
How could she live and die so self-sustain'd?

For friends supported not her parting soul,
And whisper'd words of comfort, kind and sweet,
When treading onward to that final goal,
Where the still bridegroom waited for her feet,
Alone she walk'd, yet with a fearless tread,
Down to Death's chamber, and his bridal-bed.

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