The Soul’s Parting.

She sat within Life’s Banquet Hall at noon,1
When word was brought unto her secretly :—2
The Master cometh onwards quickly ; soon3
Across the Threshold He will call for thee.”4
Then she rose up to meet Him at the Door,5
But turning, courteous, made a farewell brief6
To those that sat around. From Care and Grief7
She parted first :— “ Companions sworn and true8
Have ye been ever to me, but for Friends9
I knew ye not till later, and did miss10
Much solace through that error ; let this kiss,11
Late known and prized, be taken for amends,12
Thou, too, kind, constant Patience, with thy slow,13
Sweet counsels aiding me, I did not know14
Chat ye were angels, until ye display’d15
Your wings for flight ; now bless me.” But they said16
We blest thee long ago.”17
Then turning unto twain18
That stood together, tenderly and oft19
She kiss’d them on their foreheads, whispering soft ;20
Now must we part ; yet leave me not before21
Ye see me enter safe within the Door,22
Kind bosom-comforters, that by my side23
The darkest hour found ever closest bide.24
A dark hour waits me, ere for evermore25
Night with its heaviness is overpast ;26
Be with me till I cross the Threshold o’er.”27
So Faith and Hope stayed by her till the last.28
But giving both her hands29
To one that stood the nearest :— “ Thou and I30
May pass together ; for the holy bands31
God knits on earth are never loosed on high,32
Long have I walk’d with Thee ; thy name arose33
E’en in my sleep, and sweeter than the close34
Of music was thy voice ; for thou wert sent35
To lead me homewards from my banishment36
By devious ways, and never hath my heart37
Swerved from Thee, though our hands were wrong
By spirits sworn to sever us ; above39
Soon shall I look upon Thee as Thou art.”40
So she cross’d o’er with Love.41