Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ANGEL'S VISIT, by ELIZA SPROAT TURNER

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AN ANGEL'S VISIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: She stood in the harvest-field at noon
Last Line: "you have named the joys of heaven."
Subject(s): Home

SHE stood in the harvest-field at noon,
And sang aloud for the joy of living.
She said: " 'T is the sun that I drink like wine,
To my heart this gladness giving."

Rank upon rank the wheat fell slain;
The reapers ceased. " 'T is sure the splendor
Of sloping sunset light that thrills
My breast with a bliss so tender."

Up and up the blazing hills
Climbed the night from the misty meadows.
"Can they be stars, or living eyes
That bend on me from the shadows?"

"Greeting!" "And may you speak, indeed?"
All in the dark her sense grew clearer;
She knew that she had, for company,
All day an angel near her.

"May you tell us of the life divine,
To us unknown, to angels given?"
"Count me your earthly joys, and I
May teach you those of heaven."

"They say the pleasures of earth are vain;
Delusions all, to lure from duty;
But while God hangs his bow in the rain,
Can I help my joy in beauty?

"And while he quickens the air with song,
My breaths with scent, my fruits with flavor,
Will he, dear angel, count as sin
My life in sound and savor?

"See, at our feet the glow-worm shines,
Lo! in the east a star arises;
And thought may climb from worm to world
Forever through fresh surprises:

"And thought is joy. ... And, hark! in the vale
Music, and merry steps pursuing;
They leap in the dance,—a soul in my blood
Cries out, Awake, be doing!

"Action is joy; or power at play,
Or power at work in world or emprises:
Action is life; part from the deed,
More from the doing rises."

"And are these all?" She flushed in the dark.
"These are not all. I have a lover;
At sound of his voice, at touch of his hand,
The cup of my life runs over.

"Once, unknowing, we looked and neared,
And doubted, and neared, and rested never,
Till life seized life, as flame meets flame,
To escape no more forever.

"Lover and husband; then was love
The wine of my life, all life enhancing:
Now't is my bread, too needful and sweet
To be kept for feast-day chancing.

"I have a child." She seemed to change;
The deep content of some brooding creature
Looked from her eyes. "O, sweet and strange!
Angel, be thou my teacher:

"When He made us one in a babe,
Was it for joy, or sorest proving?
For now I fear no heaven could win
Our hearts from earthly loving.

"I have a friend. Howso I err,
I see her uplifting love bend o'er me;
Howso I climb to my best, I know
Her foot will be there before me.

"Howso parted, we must be nigh,
Held by old years of every weather;
The best new love would be less than ours
Who have lived our lives together.

"Now, lest forever I fail to see
Right skies, through clouds so bright and tender,
Show me true joy." The angel's smile
Lit all the night with splendor.

"Save that to Love and Learn and Do
In wondrous measure to us is given;
Save that we see the face of God,
You have named the joys of heaven."

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