Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RECONCILIATION, by ELIZABETH DOTEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

RECONCILIATION, by                
First Line: God of the granite and the rose!
Last Line: Unite to praise thee evermore!
Alternate Author Name(s): Doten, Lizzie
Subject(s): Hearts; Love; Reconciliation

GOD of the Granite and the Rose!
Soul of the Sparrow and the Bee!
The mighty tide of Being flows
Through countless channels, Lord, from thee.
It leaps to life in grass and flowers,
Through every grade of being runs,
Till from Creation's radiant towers
Its glory flames in stars and suns.

O, ye who sit and gaze on life
With folded hands and fettered will,
Who only see, amid the strife,
The dark supremacy of ill,—
Know, that like birds, and streams, and flowers,
The life that moves you is divine!
Nor time, nor space, nor human powers,
Your Godlike spirit can confine.

Once, in a form of human mould,
Upon this earthly plane I trod;
My faith was weak, my heart was cold,—
I had no hope, I knew not God.
Deep from my being's cup I quaffed,
With Life's Elixir brimming o'er,
And madly sought to drain the draught,
That I might die, to live no more!

There came an angel to my side—
Not from the bowers of Paradise—
She was mine own, mine earthly bride,
With Heaven's pure sunshine in her eyes.
She wept and prayed, she knew not why—
Her Faith, not Reason, soared above:
She talked of God and Heaven—and I—
Well—I was happy in her love.

Love was my all, my guiding star,
And like a wanderer in the night,
I hailed its radiance from afar,
Because it shone with certain light;
But all those visions, bright and high,
Which the pure-hearted only see,
Of God and Immortality,
Could not reveal their light to me.

At length my precious one, my wife,
Held on her bosom's sacred shrine
A tender form,—an infant life,—
The union of her soul and mine.
O God! above that precious child
First did I breathe thy holy name,
While strong emotions, deep and wild,
Shook like a reed my manly frame.

I prayed for Heaven's eternal years;
I prayed for light, that I might see;
And even with stern manhood's tears,
I prayed for faith, O God, in Thee.
O, this poor world seemed far too small
To hold the measure of my love!
They were my God, my Heaven, my All—
My precious wife, my nestling dove.

Ay, then there came a fearful day,
A day of sorrow and of pain,
When, like a helpless child, I lay,
And fever burned in every vein.
Weeks came and went, they went and came,
Till Faith was Fear, and Hope had died,
And I could only breathe the name
Of the lone watcher at my side.

With patient love that could not fail,
And anxious care that knew no rest,
She sat, like a Madonna, pale,
With our sweet infant on her breast.
For them I beat Life's stormy wave,
And struggled, face to face, with death;
For them I tarried from the grave,
And firmly held my mortal breath.

But faint and weak at length I lay,
While darkness gathered over all—
I felt my pulses fluttering play
Like Autumn leaves about to fall.
My poor, tired heart could do no more,
But yielded the unequal strife;
Ay, then I prayed, as ne'er before,
That I might have Eternal Life.

O God! my sainted mother's face
Gleamed through the deepening shades of death,
And from her lips these words of grace
Fell gently as the evening's breath:
"Child of my love, I gave to earth
Thy mortal form in grief and pain—
Lo! now, in this, thy second birth,
I lend my strength to thee again."

That angel-presence stood revealed,
To her who sat beside my bed;
Our quivering lips Love's compact sealed,
And one, brief, parting word was said.
Then, leaning like a weary child
My head upon my mother's breast,
She bore me, changed and reconciled,
To the fair dwellings of the blest.

But oft at morn, or close of day,
I feel the love that toward me yearns,
And earthward, o'er the starry way,
My answering spirit gladly turns.
O Death! O Grave! before Heaven's light
Thy gloomy phantoms quickly fly;
And man shall learn this truth aright—
That he must change, but shall not die!

Shall change, as doth the summer rose,
The evening light, the closing year;
Shall sink into a sweet repose,
To waken in a happier sphere;—
Shall fall, as falls the harvest grain—
The ripened ears of golden corn,
Which yields its life, that yet again,
Through ceaseless change, it be re-born.

God of the Granite and the Rose!
Soul of the Sparrow and the Bee!
The mighty tide of Being flows
Through all thy creatures back to Thee.
Thus round and round the circle runs—
A mighty sea without a shore—
While men and angels, stars and suns,
Unite to praise Thee evermore!

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