The Border Land.

In fleshly weakness as abed I lie,1
And through the casement catch the gentle swing2
Of emerald boughs against the sapphire sky,3
And list the sweet wild birds their vespers sing,4
I have no wish but my tired soul to lay5
Upon the bosom of the Good and Great ;6
To fold my hands in meek content and say,7
Well if thou bid’st to come, well if to wait.”8
One word, “ Forgive,” embraces all past years,9
With praise for present gifts my heart runs o’er,10
While through the mist of silent, tranquil tears11
Gleams the far vision of a golden door.12
Stands it ajar for me this summer night ?13
To greet me there are my lost angels met ?14
Am I so soon to share their pure delight ?15
Hark ! a soft voice responsive, “ Not yet.16
Go back once more a simple child to school17
The world’s wide battle school of toil and heat ;18
Follow no law but Christ’s most lovin rule,19
And bring each day new trophies to His feet :20
Some selfish aim subdued, dark passion slain,21
Some sweet forgiveness of a bitter wrong,22
Some tender solace of a brother’s pain,23
Some sorrow bravely borne in duty strong.24
And aye the more you wrestle on to know,25
And knowing, walk the path the Master trod,26
Your all of hope in lowlier homage throw27
Upon the mercy of the perfect God.”28
Ah, yes ! When sickness unto death goes by,29
The border land should be a holy place30
A glorious mount of pause ’twixt earth and sky,31
Whose finer airs give souls a deeper grace.32
So be it mine henceforth in chastened mood33
To wear my lengthened years, forgetting never34
The Pisgah height where I this night have stood,35
And glimpsed afar the home beyond the river !36