A Summer Memory.

The church was strange to me ;1
I never worshipped there before,2
And it may hap that nevermore3
Mine eyes that city fane will see,4
Where, in the twilight, cool and grey,5
That closed a sultry summer day,6
I knelt apart and prayed for thee.7
My heart was ill at ease ;8
For lo ! thought I, I may not share9
My dear one’s hour of praise and prayer,10
The solemn, blessed pause of peace,11
That waits for all on hallowed ground,12
When week-days’ care and work-days’ round13
In Sabbath rest and calmness cease,14
Yea, I was sore at heart ;15
But as I prayed my prayer for thee,16
Belovèd, comfort came to me,17
Soft healing to my cruel smart ;18
Deep peace was borne to me upon19
The strain of praise that rose anon,20
Wherein I, trembling, bore a part.21
I think an angel spake22
In the sweet pause that followed song :23
Spake soft of love that suffered long,24
Of faithful hearts that must not break,25
Though life and fate be bleak and hard,26
Though joy’s bright doors be duty-barred ;27
And glad I listened for love’s sake.28
Dear heart, it is denied29
To us to walk, as others may,30
In winter dusk and summer day,31
The world’s wide pathways side by side ;32
But fate is limited : it parts33
Our lives asunder ; but our hearts,34
Our souls, it never can divide.35
Our voices may not blend36
In singing any earthly strain ;37
And in our hearts some touch of pain38
May linger, aching, to the end ;39
But we have work—a help divine40
And we have love, I thine, thou mine,41
Love that doth all good comprehend.42
So, comforted, I passed43
With others through the ancient door ;44
And, though I worship nevermore45
In that strange temple, close and fast46
I hold the peace that came to me47
That summer night I prayed for thee,48
And hold love, too, while life shall last.49