All That Matters

Poetry/
#Poetry #General
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Excerpt ALL THAT MATTERS When all that matters shall be written downAnd the long record of our years is told,Where sham, like flesh, must perish and grow cold;When the tomb closes on our fair renownAnd priest and layman, sage and motleyed clownMust quit the places which they dearly hold,What to our credit shall we find enscrolled?And what shall be the jewels of our crown?I fancy we shall hear to our surpriseSome little deeds of kindness, long forgot,Telling our glory, and the brave and wiseDeeds which we boasted often, mentioned not.God gave us life not just to buy and sell,And all that matters is to live it well. UNTIL SHE DIED Until she died we never knewThe beauty of our faith in God.We'd seen the summer roses nodAnd wither as the tempests blew,Through many a spring we'd lived to seeThe buds returning to the tree. We had not felt the touch of woe;What cares had come, had lightly flown;Our burdens we had borne alone—The need of God we did not know.It seemed sufficient through the daysTo think and act in worldly ways. And then she closed her eyes in sleep;She left us for a little while;No more our lives would know her smile.And oh, the hurt of it went deep!It seemed to us that we must fallBefore the anguish of it all. Our faith, which had not known the test,Then blossomed with its comfort sweet,Promised that some day we should meetAnd whispered to us: "He knows best."And when our bitter tears were dried,We found our faith was glorified. THE CALL I must get out to the woods again, to the whispering tree, and the birds a-wing,Away from the haunts of pale-faced men, to the spaces wide where strength is king;I must get out where the skies are blue and the air is clean and the rest is sweet,Out where there's never a task to do or a goal to reach or a foe to meet. I must get out on the trails once more that wind through shadowy haunts and cool,Away from the presence of wall and door, and see myself in a crystal pool;I must get out with the silent things, where neither laughter nor hate is heard,Where malice never the humblest stings and no one is hurt by a spoken word. Oh, I've heard the call of the tall white pine, and heard the call of the running brook;I'm tired of the tasks which each day are mine, I'm weary of reading a printed book;I want to get out of the din and strife, the clang and clamor of turning wheel,And walk for a day where life is life, and the joys are true and the pictures real. MOTHER AND THE BABY Mother and the baby! Oh, I know no lovelier pair,For all the dreams of all the world are hovering 'round them there;And be the baby in his cot or nestling in her arms,The picture they present is one with never-fading charms. Mother and the baby—and the mother's eye aglowWith joys that only mothers see and only mothers know!And here is all there is to strife and all there is to fame,And all that men have struggled for since first a baby came. I never see this lovely pair nor hear the mother singThe lullabies of babyhood, but I start wonderingHow much of every man to-day the world thinks wise or braveIs of the songs his mother sang and of the strength she gave. "Mother And The Baby"From a drawing by W. T. Benda. "Just like a mother!" Oh, to be so tender and so true,No man has reached so high a plane with all he's dared to do.And yet, I think she understands, with every step she takesAnd every care that she bestows, it is the man she makes. Mother and the baby! And in fancy I can seeHer life being given gladly to the man that is to be,And from her strength and sacrifice and from her lullabies,She dreams and hopes and nightly prays a strong man shall arise. ...
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