Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN APOSTOLIC MAN, by SAMUEL VALENTINE COLE



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AN APOSTOLIC MAN, by            
First Line: O brothers, is the moment past?
Last Line: "love one another, and farewell."
Subject(s): Death; Grief; Heaven; Memory; Dead, The; Sorrow; Sadness; Paradise


O BROTHERS, is the moment past?
We loved him, and were making bold
To tell the love we had not told,
And tell it to his face at last.

But while we talked and planned so well,
Nor marked the swiftly waning day,
That cloud of splendor closed the way—
Lo, sunset and the evening bell!

And he is gone! The trees are here,
The walks, the halls; but tears bedim
Our eyes, because we find not him
Whom we have known this many a year.

Gone, though the skies are bending fair,
A gracious presence from this place:
We nevermore shall see that face
About the whole world anywhere.

They did not know,—his fellowmen,—
Not always know, at home, abroad,
How very close he walked with God:
They know him better now than then.

He built his life upon the plan
God gave him, open to our eyes—
This grandly-simple, heavenly-wise,
Truth-loving, apostolic man.

Oh, where is found the better part
Of truth and wisdom evermore?
Bear off your theologic lore;
Give me his great and kindly heart!

We bow the head; our hearts still swim
With sorrow, since we came so late,
Nor saw him standing at the Gate
With the great cloud enfolding him.

We meant to praise; but he has won
A better praise than ours: instead
Of those poor words we would have said,
He has the Master's word, "Well done!"

O Friend, if, on that Further Side,
Thou hast not yet receded quite
So far from us, in that great light
Where God and godlike men abide,

But that our feeble cry might swell
To reach thee where thou art to-day,
Thou, looking back, wouldst smile and say,
"Love one another, and farewell."





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